Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                                  Dated:18 October,2019

Dr Harsh Vardhan launches Food Safety Mitra scheme for strengthening and scaling up ‘Eat Right India’ movement

“By motivating key players in the system who can reach out to people at large, we can reach out to each and every individual. We have to include every section of the society so that Eat Right India becomes a country wide movement.” Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare said at the function to commemorate World Food Day 2019, here today. The theme for this day was ‘Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World’. To mark the occasion, Dr Harsh Vardhan also launched the ‘Food Safety Mitra (FSM)’ scheme.

The ‘Food Safety Mitra (FSM)’ scheme will support small and medium scale food businesses to comply with the food safety laws and facilitate licensing and registration, hygiene ratings and training. Apart from strengthening food safety, this scheme would also create new employment opportunities for youth, particularly with food and nutrition background. The FSMs would undergo training and certification by FSSAI to do their work and get paid by food businesses for their services... (PIB, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Oct 16, 2019)

The 26th Perfect Health Mela opens today
The theme for the Mela this year is “Fit Delhi-Fit India”

The three-day 26th Perfect Health Mela, the annual flagship event of the Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI), opens today at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Weightlifting Auditorium, New Delhi.

The theme for the Mela this year is“Fit Delhi-Fit India”.

Delhi Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwalhas been invited to inaugurate the Mela at 11.30 am. ....read more

Lumacaftor + Ivacaftor: A new treatment option for cystic fibrosis?
A combination of lumacaftor and ivacaftor has been found to improve lung function in cystic fibrosis patients and also reduced the need for intravenous (IV) antibiotics in a new study published online Oct. 11, 2019 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

The study conducted at 47 cystic fibrosis centers in France involved 845 patients, both adolescents and adults. Patients who took lumacaftor-ivacaftor continuously for 12 months experienced: ....read more

Managing grief by free expressive writing
The loss of a loved is often painful. The resultant grief makes it hard to eat, sleep and leads to loss of interest in routine life affecting behavior and judgment

Some can feel agitated or exhausted, to sob unexpectedly, or to withdraw from the world and others may find themselves struggling with feelings of sorrow, numbness, anger, guilt, despair, irritability, relief, or anxiety. ....read more

Healthcare News Monitor

9 hospital admissions every minute in first year of Ayushman Bharat
ET Healthworld- PTI

New Delhi: There were nine hospital admissions every minute across India in the first year of the government's flagship Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme, which has crossed the 50 lakh treatment mark. According to official data, free secondary and tertiary treatment worth Rs 7,901 crore has been carried out in the 32 states and Union territories already implementing the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PMJAY) till October 14. More than 60 per cent of the amount spent has been on tertiary care. Cardiology, orthopaedics, radiation oncology, cardio-thoracic and vascular surgery and urology emerged as the top tertiary specialities. Lauding the progress of the scheme, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said, "The Ayushman Bharat family is growing by leaps and bounds. In just over one year, under PM-JAY more than 50 lakh treatments have been availed by beneficiaries across the country. The successful implementation of this scheme will help us take forward Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay's vision of 'Antyodaya'- the upliftment of the last man." "The scheme will continue to focus on reducing catastrophic out-of-pocket health expenditure, improving access to quality health care and meeting the unmet need of the population for hospitalisation care, so that we move towards the vision of universal health coverage," Dr Indu Bhushan, CEO, NHA, the apex body responsible for implementing the scheme, said.

ICMR awards for excellence in biomedical research given to 46 scientists

New Delhi, Oct 16 (PTI) The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Wednesday honoured 46 biomedical scientists who have done pioneering work in the area of health research to solve various health issues. A total 39 awards for 2017 and 2018 were presented to 46 scientists, including 14 women scientists. Of the 39 awards, two were given to scientists belonging to underprivileged communities and one to a scientist who has conducted research in under-developed areas. The awardees belong to ICMR, CSIR-labs, AIIMS, New Delhi, PGI, Chandigarh, SGPGI, Lucknow, IITs, JIPMER, Puducherry, SCTIMST, Thiruvananthapuram, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, state and central universities and other reputed institutions. "ICMR has contributed a lot in solving the health problems and uplifting the health status of the country," Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said. He also highlighted the need to strengthen innovation for developing new technologies and carry out research to reduce out-of-pocket expenditure and help in reducing disease burden. The minister appreciated ICMR''s efforts in tackling the emerging and re-emerging infections like Zika and Nipah and congratulated its scientists for excellent work. "It has been ICMR''s endeavour for over a century now to promote scientific research as well as provide scientists with the necessary platform and tools to find solutions to the most difficult health challenges. It will be our constant endeavour to create an enabling environment for the next generation scientists to help them achieve their full potential and serve the nation," DG-ICMR Prof Balram Bhargava said.

Delhi: Govt hosps to get 80k vials of rabies shot
Times of India

New Delhi: Delhi Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a proposal of the health department for emergency procurement of anti-rabies vaccines. According to a statement, the Cabinet, in its meeting chaired by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, also granted its ex-post facto approval for the already procured 40,000 vials. “The Cabinet approved the procurement of 80,000 vials of anti-rabies vaccine on a single bid basis and granted its ex-post facto approval for the already procured 40,000 vials,” the statement said.
Anti-rabies vaccine is an essential life-saving vaccination administered to dog bite cases to prevent the deadly rabies infection, it said. “Currently, there is an acute shortage of this vaccine in Delhi hospitals since the Central Procurement Agency (CPA) could not procure them due to several reasons — withdrawal of rate contract by the bidder, poor availability of ARV in the open market and single bid participation in the CPA open tender,” the statement said. The government said that to tackle the situation, a meeting under the chairmanship of director general of health services in the Centre was held at Nirman Bhavan. It was decided all organisations will make all possible efforts to overcome the shortage and if required, this vaccine may be procured from the public sector undertaking and other state medical service corporations.

CDSCO mandates licensing authorities to get PERs of 19 specified IVD tests for grant of import and manufacturing licenses
Pharmabiz India - Shardul Nautiyal

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has mandated Central and State licensing authorities to get performance evaluation reports (PERs) of 19 specified In-vitro Diagnostic (IVD) tests for grant of import and manufacturing licenses. According to the a CDSCO notice, PERs have to be done on three batches of IVD tests with support from notified labs as per the new Medical Device (MD) Rules, 2017. PERs mandated for IVD tests include HIV, HBV, HCV, blood grouping reagent, cancer, tuberculosis, malaria, dengue, chikungunya, syphilis, typhoid, influenza, toxoplasma gondii, rubella virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus (ToRCH), chlamydia, pneumonia, methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), entero virus, marker for congenital disorder for example screen test for Down's syndrome, sexually transmitted agent i.e. Treponema pallidum, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, human papillomavirus (HPV), herpes virus and other life threatening infections or agent. In case of IVDs which are licensed and available in the Indian market for long time and manufactured in lesser number of batches per year, central and state licensing authorities should get PER from the lab for one batch to grant license. This is based on the condition that for the subsequent two consecutive batches, satisfactory PER should be submitted by the manufacturer to the concerned authority as and when it is manufactured.

DoP tweaks composition of scheme steering committee to implement scheme for development of APIs
Pharmabiz India - Shardul Nautiyal

As a way forward to develop bulk drugs industry in the country, the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) has tweaked the composition of Scheme Steering Committee (SSC) aimed at implementing Assistance to Bulk Drug Industry for Common Facility Centre sub-scheme under the scheme for development of pharmaceuticals industry. Under this scheme, financial assistance would be provided for creation of common facilities in any bulk drug park set up by state governments or state corporations. The sub-scheme would be implemented through a one-time grant-in-aid to be released to State Implementing Agency (SIA) set up for the purpose. The proposals under the sub-scheme will be considered for approval by the SSC. The new SSC has on its board Secretary, DoP as the Chairman of the committee with Financial Adviser, DoP, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Joint Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), Representative of SIA as Members and Joint Secretary (Policy), DoP as the Convenor of the committee. The SSC may co-opt representatives of industry associations, R&D institutions and invite other government officials as well as private sector experts as special invitees as may be necessary from time to time.