Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                               Dated:13 January,2020

TB treatment made easy with ‘Zero Tuberculosis’ initiative

There are many TB patients who have received help from Zero Tuberculosis started by Amit Verma, assistant professor at the pharmacy department of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Rohilkhand University, in October. Verma launched Zero Tuberculosis, a unique digital platform, on Facebook to help poor TB patients.

Bareilly: A 24-year-old woman suffering from tuberculosis (TB) was not getting free medicines regularly due to “carelessness” of accredited social health activists (Asha) of her village in Bhamora area of Bareilly district. The woman, an illiterate, was too sceptical to lodge a complaint with senior officials. Last month, however, she received a call from a volunteer of ‘Zero Tuberculosis’, who asked her several questions about her disease and the treatment. The woman told the volunteer that she was not getting medicines regularly. The volunteer shared her problem with district tuberculosis officials, who immediately ensured that Asha workers provide her with the monthly medicines on time. ....read more

The Price of Health

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has hiked the prices of 12 life-saving essential drugs to ensure their availability as manufacturers were unable to sustain productivity

In public interest, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has used its extraordinary powers to ensure availability of 21 low-cost drug formulations. Some are essential drugs, while others are first-line drugs used in national health programmes, the availability of which was getting affected for the last few years. The drugs were not available as pharmaceuticals had limited or no-profit margins. Limited stocks often used to finish by mid-year. ....read more

Lohri: Adieu To Winters: "Til Tadake; Din Jhatake"

Means ‘Good bye to Til or Sesame’, (which is used excessively in winters) and ‘welcome to longer days’ (which signify the dawn of summer).

Lohri, the festival of bonfire falls on 13th January. The earth, farthest from the sun at this point of time, starts its journey towards the sun, thus ending the coldest month of the year, Paush, and announcing the start of the month of Magh and the auspicious period of Uttarayan – January 14 to July 14 (“Uttar” North and “ayan” movement towards). Uttarayana is considered to be the holiest half of the year. In Bhagavad Gita, the Lord says, “I am Uttarayana among the ayanas.” ....read more



Healthcare News Monitor

Granules India recalls over 23 million ranitidine tablets from US market
Business Standard – PTI

Drug firm Granules India is recalling over 23 million ranitidine tablets, used to treat ulcers of the stomach and intestines, from the US market, the latest report of the American health regulator said. According to the Enforcement Report of the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), the company is recalling 23,090,000 Ranitidine tablets USP 150mg, 10,000 count bag on account of "CGMP deviations: Impurity N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) found in API". CGMP refers to the Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations. The voluntary ongoing recall is a class II recall, it added. As per the USFDA, a class II recall is initiated in a "situation in which use of or exposure to a violative product may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences or where the probability of serious adverse health consequences is remote." The tablets were distributed in Oregon, New York and New Jersey, the report said.

Maharashtra FDA faces massive staff crunch with barely 100 DIs to enforce compliance
Pharmabiz India - Shardul Nautiyal

With around 80,000 retail and wholesale licensees and over 1,000 manufacturing units in the state, the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is facing a massive staff crunch having barely 100 drug inspectors (DIs) to enforce compliance in 34 districts of the state. Compliance to norms are provisioned under the Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Act, Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 (DMR) Act, The Drug Prices Control Order 2013 (DPCO -2013), Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 (NDPS Act) and new Medical Device Rules - 2017. In Maharashtra FDA, out of 8 posts, 7 posts of joint commissioners for drug section are lying vacant. Besides this, out of 52 posts, 24 posts of assistant commissioners are lying vacant and out of 161 posts, 64 posts of drug inspectors are vacant. Situation warrants urgent action as 5 new districts in Maharashtra does not have district FDA offices, sources revealed. Drug inspectors are responsible for the inspection of manufacturing, distribution and sales units, taking drug samples for testing, conducting raids, taking action against non-compliance, following up legal actions, recalling non-compliant drugs besides enforcing DPCO and regulating drug advertising as per norms.

Hyderabad man develops app to help patients, doctors in treatment of Myeloma
The New Indian Express

To help patients suffering from myeloma and provide the government the information on the disease, a mobile app,‘Care for Myeloma’, was launched at The Indian Myeloma Congress held at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) on Saturday. The app, developed by Uday Yanamandra, a professor at the Army Hospital in New Delhi, is also available as a website where myeloma databases of major cancer hospitals across the country, including that of NIMS, are interlinked. Based on the databases, doctors can share with the government the exact number of patients a hospital treats in a year. Yanamandra said the app is available for both doctors and patients. It can store a patient’s entire case history, doing away with the need to carry documents everywhere they go. In the patients' app, the health details of a person are stored in a separate window, which requires additional security verification, so as to ensure privacy. There is also a general window in the app where a patient can find information on myeloma. The app deploys artificial intelligence and can detect if a patient uploads wrong information. “Based on the trends of the patients’ data, the AI can say if the information provided is right or wrong,” said Yanamandra. The app also alerts patients regarding the medicine they have to take, a visit to the doctor and so on.

Surgeons remove rare tumour from Iraqi woman's jaw in Delhi
The New Indian Express

A 27-year-old Iraqi woman got a new lease of life after undergoing a seven-hour surgery here for removal of a “rare recurrent tumour”, thereby allowing her to eat food properly after a gap of three years, doctors said on Saturday. The tumour sized 3x3 cm was removed from the lower jawbone of the patient at a city hospital recently, they said. Rasha Mohammad was initially treated in her home country for the tumour, which was resected and a reconstruction plate placed to bridge the gap in the jawline, doctors said. “However, as this rare recurrent tumour — ameloblastoma — relapsed, the lower jaw got maligned that proved difficult to bite, chew and eat food properly,” Fortis Hospital said in a statement. The relapsed tumour on the right side of her lower jawbone had also resulted in physical disfigurement. Consequently, the right side of the face was depressed with deviation of chin. A team of doctors at Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj, performed a surgery to cure her of the rare tumour and help her eat food properly after a gap of more than three years, the statement said. The whole jaw was realigned for the patient to bite correctly and chew properly, the doctor said. “The entire surgery took seven hours. We have been able to achieve more than expected for the patient. The tumour has been removed, the jaw has been reconstructed and the patient’s looks are brought back to normal. She can bite properly and eat normal food,” Malhotra said. The Iraqi woman has gone back to her home country after the operation, hospital authorities said.