Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee

Dated: 10th May, 2019

Hepatitis A infections increased by nearly 300% over two years in the US

Hepatitis A, a vaccine-preventable illness, like measles, has made a resurgence among adults in the United States who are at risk for the infection, according to a new report.

Researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed the number of cases reported to the agency through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System from 2013 to 2018. Hepatitis A infections increased 294% between 2016 and 2018, according to the study, published Thursday in the MMWR weekly report. There was a 95% decline in hepatitis A cases from 1996 to 2011. But from 2016 to '18, the agency received approximately 15,000 reports of the illness…. (CNN, May 9, 2019)

FDA Panel recommends mannitol inhalation powder for cystic fibrosis

The US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Pulmonary-Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee (PADAC) voted 9 to 7 on Wednesday to recommend mannitol inhalation powder (Bronchitol, Chiesi) for oral inhalation to improve pulmonary function in adults aged 18 years and older with cystic fibrosis together with standard therapies… (Medscape)

Biomarker of CTE found in CSF of some former athletes with multiple concussions

In a group of former professional athletes who experienced multiple concussions, a new study has found that approximately half the group had higher than normal levels of tau in their cerebrospinal fluid. The study is published in the May 8, 2019, online issue of Neurology. Athletes who had higher levels of tau scored lower than the athletes with normal levels of tau on a test that measures thinking skills, and brain scans showed the white matter in their brains was not as healthy. White matter is composed of nerve fibers that send signals throughout the brain. Tau has been linked to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Current Temperature Status and Warning for next five days

Heat Wave and Temperature Observed Yesterday (Past 24 hours from 0830 hrs IST of 08 May to 0830 hrs IST 09 May, 2019)

Heat Wave:

Heat wave to severe heat wave conditions observed in isolated pockets over Coastal Andhra Pradesh; heat wave conditions observed in some parts of East Uttar Pradesh, Vidarbha and in isolated pockets of Chhattisgarh(Annexure 1 & 2).

Maximum Temperature

Maximum temperatures were appreciably above normal (3.1°C to 5.0°C) at most places over Uttarakhand, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram & Tripura; at many places over Himachal Pradesh, Punjab,, Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi, East Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand; at a few places over Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Marathwada and Coastal Andhra Pradesh; at isolated places over Rayalaseema and Tamilnadu & Puducherry; above normal (1.6°C to 3.0°C) at most places over West Uttar Pradesh, Gangetic West Bengal and Telangana; at many places over East Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha and Odisha; at a few places over West Rajasthan and at isolated places over East Rajasthan, Coastal Karnataka and Kerala.Yesterday the highest maximum temperature of 46.2°C was recorded at Banda (East Uttar Pradesh) (Annexure 1 & 2).

Temperatures Recorded at 1430 Hours IST of Today, the 09th May, 2019

  • Bramhapuri (Vidarbha) recorded the maximum temperature of 45.0°C (Annexure 3).
  • Temperatures recorded at 1430 hours IST of today have risen by 1-3°C at many parts of Jammu & Kashmir; at some parts of Himachal Pradesh,South Interior Karnataka and Tamilnadu & Puducherry and at one or two pockets of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Gangetic Wet Bengal Chhattisgarh, Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and Kerala(Annexure 4).

Healthcare News Monitor

Pharma News

Government may allow private sector to use key drug used for treating tuberculosis

Hindustan Times-Rhythma Kaul

The Union health ministry is considering a proposal to allow bedaquiline, a controlled-access drug used in the treatment of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), to be open for prescription in the private sector. Being a controlled-access drug, bedaquiline is dispensed only by the government to people with MDR-TB. At least four courses of treatment are needed. The drug costs Rs 28,000 per course, which means the cost per patient is Rs 1.12 lakh on medicine alone. Around 2.1 million people have TB in India, of which an estimated 30,000 people have MDR-TB. Only 6,500 patients are on the bedaquiline-based treatment regimen, which may cause severe side effects such as heart problems and hearing impairment. “Technical opinion is being sought as there is no consensus among experts on opening access to the private sector,” said a senior health ministry official familiar with developments.

City hospital finds drugs sold at discount ineffective on patients; Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital writes to FDA

Pune Mirror

Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital has now written to the FDA, demanding an investigation into this phenomenon, days after they sent out a dummy patient to a local store to substantiate allegations In a grave development about the state of healthcare in the city, a major hospital has written to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), demanding that the quality of drugs being sold at pharmacies here be investigated thoroughly. According to the medical facility, it came across discrepancies in injections bought by a patient’s family from the market, due to which no effects of the medicine were observed, threatening the treatment and prognosis.

Glenmark Pharma announces results from phase 3 study of Ryaltris

United News of India

ris Mumbai, May 9(UNI) Pharma Major, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, on Thursday announced positive results from a Phase 3 study of Ryaltris, an investigational fixed-dose combination nasal spray for the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR). The study in patients aged 6 to under 12 years met its primary endpoint in achieving clinically meaningful and statistically significant change from baseline in average morning and evening Reflective Total Nasal Symptom Score (rTNSS) compared to placebo.1 Ryaltris (olopatadine hydrochloride [665 mcg] and mometasone furoate [25 mcg]), also known as GSP 301 Nasal Spray, has been conditionally accepted by the FDA as the brand name, a release said.

StayHappi Con spreads awareness on high-quality medicines at affordable prices

United News of India

StayHappiPharmacy, a nationwide retail pharmacy chain took an initiative to educate and to showcase issues through a program named ‘StayHappi Con’ to create awareness on high-quality medicines at affordable prices in Kolkata. Ms. Arushi Jain, Founder, StayHappi Pharmacy, said “With the motto of ‘Health Bhi happy, Pocket Bhi Happy’, StayHappi is making the difference in the lives of people by bringing generic medicines at their door step in affordable prices as compared to high MRPs of branded medicines. Our conference in Kolkata covers the spectrum of making all aware about the perspective of Stayhappi medicines that we offer. We give patients the right to choose correct medicine and make a smart choice.” Dr. Sujit Paul, Managing Director, StayHappi Pharmacy expressed his happiness on how StayHappi started its journey with the aim of providing high-quality medicines at 30% to 90% lower MRP in comparison to Branded drugs.

Government Offers Interest Waiver If Pharma Companies Agree To Pay Rs 3,500 Crore, Drop All 666 Lawsuits


To bring to an end legal tussles pending since decades, the central government has agreed to offer pharma companies a one-time interest waiver of Rs 1,325 crore on the outstanding amount of Rs 4,827 crore if they drop lawsuits challenging the price control orders, reports Mint. In essence, drug makers like Sun Pharma, Lupin Ltd and Pfizer Ltd among others will have to shell out Rs 3,501 crore for selling their products at prices higher than those notified under various Drug Prices Control Orders (DPCOs). By law prices of all medicines mentioned in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) prepared by the health ministry are regulated by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA). Companies are prohibited from selling drugs at prices higher than those decided by NPPA.

AstraZeneca, Daiichi Sankyo breast cancer drug Trastuzumab Deruxtecan shows promise

Medical Dialogues

British drugmaker AstraZeneca and Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo said on Wednesday their experimental treatment for breast cancer met its key goal in a mid-stage study, bolstering their defences in a highly competitive oncology market. The treatment Trastuzumab Deruxtecan, or DS-8201, demonstrated a clinically meaningful response in patients with refractory HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, the two companies said in a joint statement. AstraZeneca plc is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company. In 2013, it moved its headquarters to Cambridge, UK. The company has a portfolio of products for major disease areas including cancer, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, infection, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation.

Washington: Drugmakers will have to reveal medicine prices in TV ads

Medical Dialogues

Those ever-present TV ads for prescription drugs will soon reveal prices, too, the nation’s top health official said Wednesday, responding to a public outcry for government action to restrain medicine costs. WASHINGTON Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the Trump administration has finalized regulations that will require drug companies to disclose list prices of medications costing more than $35 for a month’s supply. “What I say to the companies is if you think the cost of your drug will scare people from buying your drugs, then lower your prices,” Azar said. “Transparency for American patients is here.” Drug companies responded that adding prices to their commercials could unintentionally harm patients. “We are concerned that the administration’s rule requiring list prices in direct-to-consumer television advertising could be confusing for patients and may discourage them from seeking needed medical care,” said a statement from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the main trade group. But one major firm – Johnson & Johnson, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey – has already announced it will disclose the cost of its blood thinner Xarelto in TV advertising. That drug is used to treat and prevent blood clots that can cause strokes.

New AI tool can predict breast cancer five years in advance

The Week- Sara Thuppayath

Artificial intelligence has constantly been evolving in the past decade and has become an increasingly popular topic of research in medicine. Recently, a study has shown that current AI models can detect depression in children by analysing speech. Now, from the research done by a team from MIT, AI has proven itself to be a valuable tool by predicting breast cancer in women. Treating patients affected by cancer is a difficult process. So, doctors have always looked for methods of early detection to identify cancer patients. A research team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has created a new deep neural network that can predict breast cancer in patients five years in advance at most. This new MIT/MGH AI model does so by using the data from their most recent mammogram.

Healthcare News

Docs take hands off organ transplant cases, blame it on babus ‘suspicion’

The Times of India

Doctors’ community in the state is feeling let down, particularly when doing life-saving cadaver organ transplantations. Doctors say they face harassment by the district administration if anything goes wrong during the complicated process, leading to a situation where many of them are reluctant to take up such cases. Andhra Pradesh tops the chart when it comes to road accidents, with nearly 6,000 people killed every year. While prevention of road accidents should be the top priority, doctors believe accident victims can be effectively given a new life through organ transplant if they are taken to the hospital at the right time. Surprisingly, the state is at the bottom of the list when it comes to handling organ transplantations, with just 146 lives saved in the last three-and-a-half years. This means only 30 organ donations are made in a year against 6,000 deaths reported. Though 60% accident deaths are on the spot, it is being alleged that the state is not taking a proactive role to save lives for the remaining 40 per cent.

City hospital performs 25 bariatric surgeries in 16 hrs

The Times of India

Amina Bano (name changed), 60, weighed 163 kg and had difficulty moving around. When she went under the knife on May 6, for a gastric bypass, the doctors apprised her of the dangers as she was suffering from other medical complications including diabetes. “She told us that her life itself is at risk due to her weight and a surgery could possibly not add to it,” said Dr Manish Khaitan, bariatric surgeon at KD Hospital on Thursday. Dr Khaitan, along with a team of 30 doctors and supporting staff, performed 25 bariatric surgeries in 16 hours between 6 pm on May 6 and 10 am on May 7. The patients included 16 women and nine men. One of the patients weighed 180 kg on one end of the spectrum whereas a woman’s weight was 96 kg on another. A total of 13 patients got RYGB surgery whereas 12 got gastric sleeve.

Doctors' association demands inquiry into death of 3 patients in govt hospital

Business Standard

Dr GR Ravindranath, General Secretary of Doctor's Association for Social Equality, on Thursday demanded a fair inquiry into the deaths of three patients who were on ventilator support, allegedly due to a power cut, at a government hospital here. Speaking to ANI on the incident at Rajaji hospital, Ravindranath said: "I demand a fair inquiry into this accident. A retired judge should be appointed for the same, only then will we be able to find out the truth. Reportedly, the incident happened due to a power cut. The administration did not take any steps to restore power immediately." The deceased have been identified as Mallika, Palaniyammal and Raveendran.

Cyclone Fani: Death-defying acts of doctors, nurses save 23 newborns in Odisha's Capital Hospital

The New Indian Express

Time will pass and cyclone Fani will recede to the corner of the mind as a faint memory but the team of doctors, nurses and attendants at the Sick and New Born Care Unit (SNCU) of Capital Hospital will remain etched as symbol of hope, inspiration and the selfless spirit of humanity. As Fani pounded Bhubaneswar, tearing the city apart, the unsung heroes formed a bulwark against its ferocious assault to save 23 newborn babies from the grip of death. It was around half past noon on the Black Friday, when the cyclone began to bring down the ceiling of the SNCU. But the 13-member team stood strong in resolve to let no harm come in the way of the babies. As ceiling collapse became imminent, defying the danger to themselves, the nurses came together to make an umbrella formation and provide a protective shield over the babies. This helped the doctors to rescue the babies and shift them out safely.

Doctor held for illegal kidney transplantation

The Hans India

An illegal organ transplantation incident in Sraddha Hospital in the city came to light after a dispute on money settlement arose between the donor and the recipient. Visakhapatnam city task force arrested M Manjunatha, a Bengaluru-based Ayurvedic doctor, who acted as a mediator between the donor and the recipient, along with D. Prabhakar, an in-house nephrologist of the hospital, who performed the surgery. In dire need of money, the donor J Parthasaradhi of Hyderabad posted an advertisement online to sell his kidney. Taking this as an opportunity, Dr Manjunatha approached Parthasaradhi to transplant his kidney to a patient in Sraddha hospital.

Kin of deceased patient cry medical negligence

millennium post

Kin of a patient, who lost his life due to alleged medical negligence at Care and Cure Nursing Home in Barasat, lodged a complaint with the district magistrate of North 24-Parganas against a doctor at the nursing home. The victim, Kamal Dutta, a resident of Nabapally in Barasat died at the nursing home a few days ago. The family members of the deceased patient said Dutta was admitted to the nursing home as he was suffering from piles. Doctors said the patient needed a surgery. The daughter of the deceased patient, Arpita Dutta, alleged that the patient died due to a serious medical negligence by a doctor at the time of the operation.

Family demands action against doctor for ‘negligence’

Daily Excelsior

Family of a woman, who died last month at SKIMS due to alleged medical negligence, today demanded a thorough investigation into the matter and asked that accused should be brought to the book, while alleging that the SKIMS administration was shielding the accused. The family members of the deceased Mir Anjum belonging to Bernina alleged that she died due to the negligence wherein mismatched blood was transfused into her. She was low on hemoglobin and after that two pints of blood were transfused into her. She developed complications after transfusion and was shifted to the ICU, where she breathed her last,” said her sister Mir Rafia who was protesting in Partap Park Srinagar along with the family. The family said that the hospital administration was shielding the culprits as nothing was done to deliver justice to the family. “Nothing has been done so far; police have registered an FIR but nothing concrete is coming out. The Director SKIMS is shielding the doctors;’ the family members said.

Paras Hospital opens free cancer care centre

Bio Spectrum

Paras HMRI hospital, Raja Bazaar, Patna has made arrangements to provide free accommodation to not just cancer patients being treated at its cancer centre but their relatives/acquaintances as well, within the hospital premises. The centre has been named Cancer Care Centre. The building was inaugurated by Dr D. Nagar, Managing Director, Paras Health Care. It is now open as a dormitory which houses 20 beds for both males and females. However, separate arrangements have been made for female patients. The centre consists of bunk beds with bed frames stacked on top of each other. Patients will be accommodated on the lower frames while their relatives will be able to occupy the upper frames of the bed. It has been ensured that the centre also has proper and hygienic washrooms. The arrangements have been made with intent to relieve patients of additional economic burden.

NLEM drug shortages: There should be a centralized system for reporting drug shortages

The National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) contains drugs that are considered to be most effective and safe to meet the most important needs in a health system. The drugs are selected on the basis of the disease burden in the country including what is of immediate concern. Medicines in NLEM are listed with reference to all levels of healthcare: Primary (P), Secondary (S) and Tertiary (T).
The list was last updated in 2015, which now contains a total of 376 medicines. In 2016, cardiac stents were added to the list.
Shortages of drugs, especially those in the NLEM, therefore are a cause of concern. ....read more

How do we define dreams?

Mandukya Upanishad talks about four types of sleep and four types of consciousness.
The first is the awake state, where one interacts with all the senses. Second is the dream state of consciousness, which is REM sleep and sympathetic in nature. Deep non-REM sleep is the third state where the body is resting in a parasympathetic state.
The fourth is restful alertness or turya state of consciousness, where one is connected to the soul consciousness in an extreme degree of parasympathetic state......read more


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