Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee

Dated: 20th April, 2019

Medtalks with Dr KK

1.Extending lung cancer screening in individuals beyond 5 years can significantly impact the survival benefits associated with early disease detection. The 10-year results of The Multicentric Italian Lung Detection (MILD) study showed a significant 39% reduction in the relative risk of lung cancer mortality among patients who underwent low-dose computed tomography. In addition, there was also a 20% risk reduction in overall mortality.

2.Relying on the trickery used by the AIDS virus to infect people, doctors at two medical centers say they have cured 10 infants of so-called bubble boy disease, a genetic defect that leaves children, typically boys, without an immune system.

3.Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) was ordered to pay compensation of ?74.5 lakh to a Mumbai-based patient, and ?65 lakh to a Delhi-based patient, for their faulty hip implants.

But long past the deadline of April 8, J&J has challenged the order in the Delhi High Court and stated that it was willing to pay only ?25 lakh to those affected.

However, the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) is insisting that the company pays up according to the compensation amount decided by it.

4.A recent survey conducted with a sample size of 2400+ showed that 88% Indians wished for the independence to decide their line of medical treatment during the last days of their life rather than leave it on their family. The survey carried almost a year after Supreme Court’s historic verdict on Living Will showed that despite having strong opinions about their last moments, only 27% Indians are aware about the concept of Living Will. The survey was conducted by HCAH guided by End of Life Care in India Task Force.

Healthcare News Monitor

Dated: 20th April, 2019

Pharma News

New legal risks emerge for Indian pharma

The Economic Times Markets- Kiran Kabtta Somvanshi

Investors in Indian pharma companies may have become tolerant of the patent law suits and FDA clampdowns, but there is a steadily emerging set of law suits – class action suits, anti-trust suits and whistle-blower suits – that threaten to exponentially increase the risk in investing in pharma stocks. Price collusion, pay-for-delay arrangements and manufacturing malpractices are the issues that potentially invoke litigations involving these companies.

Hamied elected Honorary Fellow of Royal Society

The Hindu

Mumbai: Cipla chairman Yusuf Hamied has been elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society, U.K. for his service to the cause of science. Dr. Hamied graduated with honours from Cambridge University in 1957 and continued a Ph.D in 1960 under the tutelage of Nobel Laureate Alexander Todd. The Society is a Fellowship of the world’s most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. The Fellows are elected for life through a peer review process. “Over the past six decades, Dr. Hamied has been instrumental in the growth and development, implementation and adoption of science in indigenous pharma industry in India. He has commercially synthesised many essential drugs by developing patent non-infringing processes in diverse areas, steroids, antibiotics, HIV/AIDS, respiratory and oncology drugs,” said the Society in the biography issued on him. “In the late ’90s, a major achievement was the novel syntheses of 3 anti-retroviral drugs and combining them into a single dose therapy, making treatment efficacious and affordable. This resulted in saving millions of lives in Africa,” the biography read.

Drug-resistant fungi are a threat to modern medicine

Hindustan Times-Isabel Frost and Ramanan Laxminarayan

Evolution in mammals is difficult to observe because of long generation times. But in the case of fungi, bacteria and parasites, evolution happens in a relative blink of eye and causes death and disability. As surely as night follows day, drug resistance is a natural consequence of the use of medications for infectious disease. The problem has reached epidemic proportions in recent years and has been highlighted as one of the most serious threats to modern medicine by the World Health Organization.

DCGI wants Johnson & Johnson to pay compensation as decided

The HinduJyoti Shelar

Mumbai: Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) was ordered to pay compensation of ?74.5 lakh to a Mumbai-based patient, and ?65 lakh to a Delhi-based patient, for their faulty hip implants. But long past the deadline of April 8, J&J has challenged the order in the Delhi High Court and stated that it was willing to pay only ?25 lakh to those affected. However, the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) is insisting that the company pays up according to the compensation amount decided by it. “The company has to pay as per the amount derived by a formula we have put in place. We don’t agree with the company paying only ?25 lakh. We have already requested the court about the same,” Dr. S Eswara Reddy, the DCGI, told The Hindu.

Applications invited for course on pre-clinical drug development

Telangana Today

Hyderabad: The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) in association with UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) is calling for applications from interested academicians for its five-day ‘Train the Educator’ course on ‘Developing and Sustaining India’s Capacity for Pre-Clinical Drug Discovery’.

Healthcare News

A Young Doctor's Appeal: Let's Understand Privilege Before We Talk Merit

The Wire

In March, the Maharashtra government initiated the admission process for medical post graduation for the new academic year – 2019-20. A major debate in this year’s admission season has been the implementation of two new categories of reservation – for economically weaker sections (EWS) and socially and educationally backward classes (SEBC). Following the release of the seat matrix for the first round of admissions, there was a massive outcry among students in the open category about the reservation. I’m writing this not to debate the constitutionality of EWS or SEBC reservations, but as a student and medical professional from the SC category who has been subjected to inflammatory and infuriating attacks on my credibility as a doctor.

Govt mulls bridge course to make dentists doctors

The Times of India-Rema Nagaraja

Niti Aayog along with the health ministry is examining a proposal to create a cadre of mid-level health providers by allowing dentists to practice “family medicine/mainstream medicine” after doing a bridge course. A meeting on this proposal is to be held at Niti Aayog on Monday, April 22. Referring to the minutes of a meeting held in the Prime Minister’s Office on April 9 regarding “scaling up of medical education in India”, the notice issued on Wednesday for Monday’s meeting stated that in the PMO meeting it was “decided to explore the option of allowing dentists to practice family medicine/mainstream medicine following bridge course”.

AIIMS docs for action against theft plaints on campus

The Pioneer

New Delhi: Following the rise in cases of theft, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) has demanded implementation of enhanced security for all duty rooms of doctors and immediate monetary compensation, "as promised" for all lost items along with efficient follow up of complaints. The doctors have also alleged lack of redressal of complaints. They have also sought transfer of the AIIMS chowki-in-charge with immediate effect. In the letter, the doctors said many valuables and gadgets, including laptops, mobile phones and personal belongings, and even vehicles of resident doctors have been stolen from duty rooms, changing rooms and campus when they are at work.

Health officials raid fake doctor’s clinic

The Times of India

Hisar: Health officials on Thursday raided a clinic that was being run by a quack at Rupnagar area of Hansi in Hisar district after receiving a tip off. The accused, identified as Manish, managed to abscond. Manish, who had studied up to Class VI only, was running the clinic for the past 20 years and had been prescribing allopathic medicines to the patients. While the health department officials have started investigating the samples of various medicines seize from the spot, a complaint has also given to Hansi police station against the fake doctor.

Even poor spending up to Rs 50,000 on cancer treatment

The Times of India-Durgesh Nandan

Over half of the families’ primary income was generated from an unskilled-worker wage, and at least one parent per family was illiterate or had no formal schooling. Eight families were from outside the National Capital Region, according to the research paper. In 14 weeks, a fortnight prior to the diagnosis and 12 weeks after the diagnosis of cancer, the families said they had spent Rs 51,644, on average. A maximum 53% of the money was spent on non-medical categories and 47% on medical needs. Non-medical cost included travel, lodging, food and miscellaneous expenses. Medical cost involved chemotherapy, supportive care, surgery, radiation, investigations and transfusions. “The mean cost two weeks prior to the diagnosis was Rs 7,621 with 73% costs on medical and 27% on non-medical categories.

Medical colleges need to have functional hospitals for three years to start MBBS courses

The New Indian ExpressSumi Sukanya Dutta

NEW DELHI: Only institutions that have had a hospital functioning for at least three years will now be allowed to start MBBS courses and open medical colleges, the medical education regulator has now ruled. Senior officials in the Medical Council of India-Board of Governor (MCI-BOG) told this newspaper that the norm was in place until 2011, but was relaxed that year in order to help private colleges, which mostly start offering degrees first and then establish hospitals. “It was, however, seen that many private institutes started offering MBBS degrees while also opening hospitals around the same time, and these hospitals were there only in name,” an official in the MCI-BOG said. The decision to alter the norm was taken in consultation with the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently in order to ensure “quality” clinical exposure to medics. At present, a medical college with 100 MBBS seats is required to have a hospital with at least 300 beds.

AI powered Avanti App launched

The Pioneer

Mumbai: Ed-tech startup, Avanti Learning Centres, which offers Science and Mathematics education by leveraging a Physical, Digital model, has launched an AI powered Mobile App. The Mumbai-based education startup works in the area of preparatory classes for higher education in STEM domain (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for students looking to succeed in IIT and Medical entrance examinations including NEET. It has recently expanded to 300 centres across 50 cities and towns while impacting the lives of over 500,000 students looking to enter the Engineering and Medical colleges of India. The startup is currently providing its services close to 11.9 Lakh students appearing for IIT Entrance and over 13 lakh students appearing for NEET, Avanti with a Physical, Digital model.

Dated: 20th April, 2019

Current Temperature Status and Warning for next 24 hours

Heat Wave and Temperature Observed Yesterday (Past 24 hours from 0830 hrs IST of 19th April to 0830 hrs IST of 20th April, 2019)

Heat Wave:

Nil (Annexures 1 & 2).

Maximum Temperature

Maximum Temperature more than 40.0°C was recorded at many places over Vidarbha; at a few places over Telangana, Rayalaseema and at isolated places over Saurashtra & Kutch, West Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Maharashtra, North Interior Karnataka, Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu & Puducherry.

Maximum temperature departures as on 19-04-2019: Maximum temperatures were appreciably above normal (3.1°C to 5.0°C) at a few places over Assam & Meghalaya and at isolated places over Odisha, Saurashtra & Kutch and Tamilnadu & Puducherry; above normal (1.6°C to 3.0°C) at most places over Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram & Tripura; at many places over Sub-Himalayan West Bengal & Sikkim; at a few places over Jammu & Kashmir and at isolated places over Rayalseema, Kerala, Coastal Karnataka and Konkan & Goa. They were appreciably below normal (-3.1°C to -5.0°C) at most places over Rajasthan, West Uttar Pradesh & Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi; at many places over Jharkhand; at a few places over East Uttar Pradesh, East Madhya Pradesh & Uttarakhand; at isolated places over West Madhya Pradesh and Gangetic West Bengal; below normal (-1.6°C to -3.0°C) at most places over Punjab; at a few places over Gujarat region & Bihar and at isolated places over Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Maharashtra, Telangana, Vidarbha, Himachal Pradesh& Chhattisgarh and near normal over rest parts of the country.

The highest maximum temperature of 42.6°C was recorded at Bramhapuri (Vidarbha) over the country.

Heat Wave Warnings for Next 24 hours (From 0830 hrs IST of 20th to 0830 hrs IST of 21 st April 2019):-


Compassion is the hallmark of a good doctor

Sir William Osler said, “Care more for the individual patient than for the special features of the disease. . . . Put yourself in his place . . . The kindly word, the cheerful greeting, the sympathetic look - these the patient understands.
Compassion is the hallmark of a good doctor. The question then arises - what is compassion?
Compassion is “a deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it” and is based on the concept of helpfulness. Five elements of compassion have been described: recognizing suffering, understanding the universality of human suffering, feeling for the person suffering,....read more

Rule out other causes of anemia before initiating ESAs in cancer patients

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Society of Hematology (ASH) have updated their clinical guideline for the use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) in patients with cancer. The guideline also advises blood transfusion as a treatment option in these patients. Some key recommendations are:

  • ESAs may be offered to patients with chemotherapy-associated anemia whose cancer treatment is not curative in intent and hemoglobin (Hb) is < 10 g/dL.
  • Do not offer ESAs for chemotherapy-associated anemia to patient in whom cancer treatment is curative in intent....read more


The 3 Cs: Don’t Criticize, Condemn, or Complain!