Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                               Dated:21 November,2019

Universal health coverage key to achieving sustainable development goals: Union Health Minister

New Delhi: Access to medical products and creating an enabling legal and trade environment for the public were critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 agenda, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said on Tuesday.

Inaugurating the "2019 World Conference on Access to Medical Products: Achieving the SDGs 2030", Dr Vardhan said the Indian government was initiating measures and making constant efforts for providing the highest possible standards of healthcare to the citizens… (ET Healthworld – PTI, November 19, 2019)


Gorakhpur 2017 Deaths: a 2019 review

On 10th of August 2017, when I was the National President of Indian Medical Association a series of deaths occurred in the children ward suffering from acute encephalitis syndrome in Gorakhpur Medical College.

As per a report, a copy of which is with the undersigned, 23 children died on 10th August, 11 on 11th August and 11 on 12th August. The cause of death was stated to be non availability of oxygen in the children ward. An enquiry report done by the health department, a copy of which is with the undersigned, clearly says that there was non-availability of oxygen in the hospital for 52 hours on 11th and 12th August, 2017. The same has also been confirmed by an RTI.

What is not known is that on the same day on 10th August, 8 people died in the adult medicine ward and 10 died on 11th August in the same ward. This clearly indicates that the lack of oxygen was administrative problem and not the problem of the treating doctors. ....read more


Anger In Mythology

The description of anger comes in mythology as one of the five vices which need to be controlled to acquire spirituality. Anger is one of the gateways, which takes us away from spiritual health. The description of anger in mythology is as under:

Lord Shiva is shown wearing a snake in his neck with hood directed inwards. Shiva is also said to have a blue neck or Neelkanth indicating that to control anger, one should neutralize the anger continuously (matted hairs) with cool mind (Moon) using positive flow of thoughts (Ganga) with ego controlled (naag).

Bhagavad Gita talks about anger in great details and tells that anger is a result of unfulfilled desires. As per Bhagavad Gita, lust leads to anger and anger leads to ego.

As per Lord Shiva, anger can be expressive and/or suppressive. Expressive anger can lead to rupture of arterial blockage and suppressive anger can lead to arterial blockage. The best answer described by Lord Shiva is to manage and control the anger. ....read more


Healthcare News Monitor

Doctor caught prescribing medicines with brand name
The Tribune - Karam Prakash

The alleged nexus between government doctors and private chemist shops has once again come to the fore at Government Mata Kaushalya Hospital. Ignoring the guidelines of the state government once again, a government doctor was allegedly caught prescribing medicines with brand names, instead of a generic name. A senior paediatrician, employed under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), was caught red-handed, prescribing medicines with brand names to the poor patients. The medicines, worth Rs 800, prescribed by the doctor, were not available at the hospital and Jan Aushadhi centre. But, ironically, the said medicines were said to have been available at a ‘specific’ chemist shop only — outside the hospital. The experts said as per the prevailing modus operandi of the said nexus, doctors prescribe costly medicines to the patients owing to their alliance with pharmaceutical companies. It is the poor patients who have to bear the brunt of the expensive medicines prescribed by these doctors. Surprisingly, the medicines prescribed by the doctor in question could not be read by the pharmacist at the hospital and Patiala Civil Surgeon himself. However, the chemist, immediately, understood the said medicine. A large chunk of patients at the Mata Kuashalya Hospital come from rural areas. A majority of them are poverty-stricken and cannot afford the medicines of popular brand names often sold at exorbitant prices. The patients at the hospital claimed that substitute salts of the said medicines prescribed by the doctors were cost-effective and free at the hospital pharmacy.

Mumbai: Cosmetics worth over ? 89,000 seized from unlicensed premises
India TV

Cosmetics worth over Rs 89,000 were seized after the Food and Drug Administration raided the premises of Nykaa E. Retail Pvt. Ltd. in Thane on Monday. The stock that was seized included boxes of deodorants, kajal sticks, lipsticks, lip balm, eyeliners among other cosmetics. The raids were conducted by Food and Drugs Inspector Pune, BD Kadam, PM Patil and SA Kamble, who confiscated raw material, labels, machinery and deodorants from the premises of M/s. SVN Fragrance, Tathawade in Pune. The firm was involved in the manufacturing of cosmetic products without requisite license and contravened the provisions of Sect.18 c of Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940. The raids were conducted under the guidance of Dr. Pallavi Darade Commissioner, FDA. According to the senior FDA officer who executed the raid, “The FDA seized products during the special raid conducted on the basis of confidential information and confiscated the stock of cosmetics.” He said that these products were manufactured by Bellezza Italia, Virar (E), Thane and were marketed by NELF Cosmetics Pvt. Ltd. without a valid licence, thereby violating section 18C of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.

PerkinElmer-owned Tulip Diagnostics to acquire medical devices maker Biosense
VC Circle - Narinder Kapur

Tulip Diagnostics Pvt. Ltd, an in-vitro diagnostic firm, has acquired Mumbai-based Biosense Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a medical devices maker, for an undisclosed sum of money. The acquisition will also provide an exit to private equity investors in Biosense such as Insitor and Menterra, and other angel and venture capital investors in the company, Tulip said in a statement. Mumbai-based 7i Capital Advisors acted as the exclusive sell-side advisor to Biosense and all its shareholders on the transaction. Abhishek Sen, co-founder and chief executive officer at Biosense, said the move would allow the two companies to combine their product portfolio and allow its customers to access the latest technologies in the in-vitro diagnostics segment at an affordable cost. “This acquisition also further expands Tulip’s footprint in the point-of-care diagnostics market directly reaching to clinics and doctors across India,” 7i Capital Advisors executive director and partner Manoj Patkar added. Biosense, which was founded in 2008, produces innovative and customer-centric point-of-care technological devices. Its products include the SYNC Glucometer; Uchek, a smartphone-based portable diagnostics system; A1 Chek, a smart HbA1C (Haemoglobin A1C) meter; and the Remote Diagnostic Kit.

India to conduct carcinogen test on ranitidine even as USFDA downplays risks
Mint - Leroy Leo

India will continue testing for known carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in popular antacid ranitidine, two senior officials of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) said, even as the US regulator, which had flagged the issue first, has downplayed the risk. “The venom that the information (of US FDA) was carrying of a public danger, that is removed now. But still it will be tested," one of the two people cited above said on condition of anonymity. Earlier this month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) downplayed the risk associated with ranitidine, saying that levels of the carcinogen in most ranitidine samples were similar to those found in common food items. The regulator, though, asked pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily recall ranitidine products if the contaminant breaches the limit in their products. The US FDA considers 96 nanograms per day, or 0.32 parts per million, as the acceptable limit for ranitidine. The statement followed a safety warning by the US regulator in September, citing traces of NDMA, a known carcinogen, in ranitidine. Following the US regulator’s safety alert, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) V.G. Somani, head of CDSCO, had also issued a directive to all state regulators asking them to get manufacturers to test anti-acidity drug ranitidine for the impurity. Many other drug regulators the world over also issued similar advisories and are conducting tests.

Niti Aayog has not rejected proposal to bring medical devices under CDSCO: Govt
The Week - PTI

The NITI Aayog has not rejected the proposal to bring medical devices under the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), the government informed Parliament on Tuesday. The CDSCO under the Ministry of Health regulates the safety, efficacy and quality of notified medical devices under the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules made thereunder. Responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey also said that no proposal has been approved regarding establishment of a separate statutory body on the lines of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for the regulation of medical devices. In order to bring all the non-notified medical devices under the regulation, the ministry has prepared a roadmap and published draft rule dated October 18. Further, a notice has been issued seeking the comments of the stakeholders on a proposal to notify all the medical devices under sub section (b) of section (3) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 to regulate them as per the provisions of the said Act and Medical Devices Rules, 2017 framed thereunder, Choubey said. The Centre's response comes in the backdrop of the NITI Aayog proposing a new framework for regulating all locally-made and imported medical devices. The draft legislation, titled Medical Devices (Safety, Effectiveness and Innovation) Bill, 2019 proposes a separate regulator under the Directorate General of Health Services to monitor the medical devices sector.