Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                               Dated:28 February,2020

Coronavirus outbreak: Drug pricing regulator asks companies to give information on price, inventory

The government has been examining the impact of the shutdown in China on the pharmaceutical sector in India. The DoP has also asked the country’s drug regulatory authority, Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, to examine to what degree India depends on China for bulk drugs, possible shortages of molecules and measures that can be taken to keep the situation under control.

NEW DELHI: India’s drug pricing regulator has sought details of the price movement and inventory of 58 key ingredients that go into the making of finished drug dosages, seeking to ensure that the Covid-19 outbreak doesn’t cause the Chinese-dependent supply chain to snap and result in an undue rise in retail prices of medicines locally....read more

Should I Cancel my Travel Because of the Coronavirus?

In late January, CDC issued a level 3 travel warning, recommending that anyone with nonessential travel plans to mainland China should avoid going there. But as the outbreak of COVID-19 is now spreading out into other countries, we have more new cases outside China than in China.

South Korea, Italy, and Iran have reported large number of cases, locally spread from person to person. Cases are now being reported from places near these countries as well. As on today, there are over 82,000 documented cases of COVID-19 worldwide, across 48 countries, with over 2,800 deaths. ....read more

February 26: Coronavirus in various countries

5 new cases in Germany: This includes a 25-year-old man near Stuttgart who reportedly contracted the disease during a trip to Milan.

1stcase in Romania: a person who returned from Italy 3 weeks ago.

1 new case in Spain (Canary Islands): a woman who works in Italy....read more

COVID-19: More cases outside China (903) than in China (435) yesterday

CMAAO Update on COVID-19 - 27th February
Update: 48 countries, 82,166 cases, 2800 deaths, 32,812 recovered, 46,554 currently infected patients, 37,686 (81%) in mild condition, 8,868 (18%) serious or critical; likely deaths (2773 + 8868 x 15) = 4130 with the present trend and available treatment; more cases outside China (903) than in China (435) yesterday; emergency in San Francisco; Saudi Arabia suspends entry for Muslim pilgrims; 8 deaths outside China yesterday; total 3667 cases outside China....read more

Do Your Duty with Discipline and Devotion

“Vasudhaiva kutumbakam” (the whole world is one family) and “Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudavanti” (truth is one but the wise call it by various names) are two basic statements, which come from the ancient Rig Veda and form the fundamentals of Vedic philosophy.

One should do one’s duty with devotion and discipline. This principle can be remembered as the principle of three Ds....read more

How Corona Aware Are You

Health Sutras By Dr K K Aggarwal

Chest pain which can be pinpointed by a finger is not a heart pain.



Healthcare News Monitor

India major source of illicitly manufactured habit-forming drug Tramadol: UN report
The Print - Himani Chandna

India is a significant source of trafficked, falsified, substandard or illicitly manufactured “Tramadol” that is seized worldwide, says a report by International Narcotics Control Board. Tramadol is an opioid-based pain-relieving drug. “Available data suggest that in recent years, India has emerged as the centre of manufacturing of Tramadol destined for clandestine markets,” states the report for 2019 released by The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The report blames India for being the chief illegal supplier of the drug in many countries. For instance, it states that 87 per cent of the Tramadol seized in Ghana in 2017 came from India. The report, however, states that there has been a difference since April 2018 when India listed Tramadol among its nationally controlled substances under its Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. “Following the changes in control measures in India, experts in Ghana and Nigeria noted a significant decline in large seizures of tramadol and a corresponding increase in prices for tramadol tablets in the illicit market,” the report states.

India should rationalise, not harmonise, drug laws with global laws: DCGI
The Hindu Business Line - PT Jyothi Datta

Some aspects of Indian drug laws are better than international ones, says Somani - The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has come out strongly on simplifying local drug regulatory laws and “rationalising” them in line with international laws, rather than “harmonising” them. Some aspects of the Indian drug laws are “better than” international laws, VG Somani, DCGI, told the Indian Pharmaceutical Forum (IPF) 2020. He cited the law on patient compensation, which is not available anywhere else in the world. Even the World Health Organisation (WHO) has cautioned it on harmonisation and joining the PIC/S (Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme), he said, indicating that such a move could lead to over-regulation that could, in turn, affect access to medicines. The WHO has a “human face” and is not involved with trade and intellectual property issues, he later told mediapersons. Joining PIC/S would reduce the burden on regulators in terms of reducing the repetitive nature of inspections by various regulators on drug factories etc, he agreed, but a section of industry is not sure if there is any benefit in it for them. Adopting best practices - Rubina Bose, Deputy Drugs Controller (CDSCO-West), added that factories sometimes face 7-10 inspections and, in some cases, face inspections despite being pre-qualified by the WHO (which means any government can source from that factory). Harmonisation is a challenge as different stability requirements and specifications are required across different products and factories, she said, calling for adopting best regulatory practices instead.

‘By 2030, India will have one doctor to every 800 patients’
The Times of India- Shimona Kanwar

“By 2030, India will meet the WHO criteria of 1:800 (one doctor to 800 patients) as MBBS and postgraduate seats have been enhanced,” said NITI Aayog member, Dr Vinod Paul. He was addressing a gathering at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) to celebrate the silver jubilee celebrations of the Oral Health Sciences Centre (OHSC) on Wednesday. “By 2024, we will have one doctor per 1,000 patients. We had 1,0.22 lakh doctors in 2017 and can have 14 lakh plus by 2024,” added the NITI Aayog member. Stating that nearly 20,000 MBBS seats were added in one year and there has been a rise of 32% in 2019, the highest ever in a single year, Dr Paul said, “This could be achieved by the board of governors of the medical Council of India. Today, there are 80,257 MBBS seats which were only 60,680 last year.” In this context, Dr Paul urged the PGI doctors to create additional postgraduate seats. Later when he spoke, Prof Jagat Ram, director of PGI, said PGI might have MBBS teaching programme in the satellite centres as and when required.

Pune: Man held for ‘extorting’ Rs 75 lakh from doctor by threatening arrest of his son
The Indian Express

The Crime Branch of Pune City Police has arrested a man for allegedly extorting a city-based doctor of Rs 75 lakh. The doctor was allegedly threatened with the arrest of his son in a case of rape and caste atrocity, said police. The police acted after the doctor lodged an FIR at the local police station on February 9. After arresting the accused, police booked him under sections 420, 384, 388 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. As per the FIR, a woman had filed a complaint of molestation against the doctor’s son in October 2019. The son, who is also a doctor, has claimed that the woman had come to him as a patient, and that she had lodged a false complaint against him following a dispute over payment of fees. The doctor had allegedly visited the police station with the accused and some others while the inquiry into the molestation case was being carried out. Later, the accused allegedly told the doctor that the woman belonged to a minority community, and that the police would arrest his son on charges of rape and molestation and also book him under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.