Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                               Dated:28 November,2019

World AIDS Day 2019 report: Power to the people

A new report by UNAIDS, Power to the people, released ahead of World AIDS Day, shows that where people and communities living with and affected by HIV are engaged in decision-making and HIV service delivery, new infections decline and more people living with HIV gain access to treatment. When people have the power to choose, to know, to thrive, to demand and to work together, lives are saved, injustices are prevented and dignity is restored.

The report was launched in Kenya on November 26 by the Executive Director of UNAIDS, the Cabinet Secretary of Health of Kenya and community representatives. It shows that significant progress has been made, particularly in expanding access to treatment. As of mid-2019, an estimated 24.5 million of the 37.9 million people living with HIV were accessing treatment. .. (UNAIDS, November 26, 2019)

CMAAO Statement on World AIDS Day 2019: Ending the HIV Epidemic in Asia

A Plan for CMAAO Countries for reducing the incidence of HIV by 75% in 5 years, and by 90% by 2030 has been developed. The key highlights of the plan are:

1.Today, antiretroviral drugs combined in a single pill taken once a day can enable a person living with HIV to achieve a nearly normal lifespan.

2.Antiretrovirals can treat HIV, maintain the health of an individual, and prevent transmission of the virus

3.People living with HIV, and on antiretroviral drugs to achieve and maintain a durably undetectable level of virus, do not transmit HIV. This prevention strategy, is known as Undetectable = Untransmittable, or U=U.

4.Antiretrovirals in pregnant HIV positive can prevent perinatal transmission of the virus.

5.ART is recommended for all HIV-infected pregnant women to decrease the rate of perinatal HIV transmission as well as to treat the mother. ....read more

The vast power of the Spirit

Om Poornamadah Poornamidam, Poornaat Poornamudachyate

Poornasya Poornamaadaaya, Poornameva Avasihyate”

The whole is whole; if you take away the whole away from the whole, the whole will still remain (That is infinite, this is infinite, from the infinite, the infinite has come out. Having taken the infinite out of the infinite, the infinite alone remains). ....read more

Healthcare News Monitor

Indian regulator flags products of three pharma PSUs for failing quality test
Mint - Leroy Leo

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), in its latest drug alert, pulled up five batches of medicines of three government-run pharmaceutical companies for failing quality control tests. The Indian regulator has flagged Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BCPL), Orissa Drugs and Chemicals Ltd (ODCL) and Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd (HAL) for some of their batches failing to meet quality control norms. The regulator flagged two batches of BCPL’s paracetamol tablets, which were manufactured at its Kanpur facility, as well as a batch of ODCL’s de-worming medicine albendazole, for failing to meet dissolution test. The regulator also flagged HAL’s ciprofloxacin tablets for failing to meet dissolution test. The regulator also pulled up the company’s compound sodium lactate solution for injection, used to replace fluids and electrolytes in patients with low blood volume or low blood pressure, for failing to meet sterility test as well as for not meeting description criteria, as per the drug alert for October. Dissolution test measures the rate at which the medicine releases its active pharmaceutical ingredients to treat the body. According to a report by The Indian Express, BCPL and HAL have disputed the claim that the samples were sub-standard, with BCPL also planning to challenge CDSCO’s findings. BCPL has said that re-tests of the samples showed that they passed the quality tests. However, the company has withdrawn a batch of around 1.94 lakh tablets of paracetamol, the report said.

Industry experts continue to contest ban on methylcobalamin in Gujarat
Pharmabiz India - Shardul Nautiyal

Concerns have been raised by the industry on the recent ban on methylcobalamin only in Gujarat. In other states, there is no such ban on methylcobalamin which is an important pharmacopoeial ingredient used in drugs and food supplements. Industry experts have pinpointed that ban on methylcobalamin warrants scrutiny in the wake of dual standards followed in such case by the regulatory authorities. Methylcobalamin is also approved all over the world in nutraceutical and food use. Repeated correspondences by industry experts on the issue have yielded no responses from Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) and Gujarat state drug controller since June 2019 when the ban was invoked. Rues pharma consultant Dr Sanjay Agrawal, “What is the need of two authorities in India - Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) and FSSAI and why a product is approved by one authority and banned by the other.” FSSAI in its Food Safety and Standards (health supplements, nutraceuticals, food for special dietary use, food for special medical purpose, functional food and novel food Regulation 2016 [Available on website of FSSAI] has approved only cynocobalamin and hydroxycobalamin. Cynocobalamin which when enters the human body leaves the cyanide group and takes methyl group from human body to form methylcobalamin as methylcobalamin is the active form of vitamin B12 in the human body.

Rural India throws up multiple challenges to adopt diagnostic & therapeutic technologies: Dr Suman Chakraborty
Pharmabiz India - Nandita Vijay

Rural environment in India presents multiple challenges to implement diagnostic and therapeutic healthcare technologies. The backdrop to this is the fact that almost 80% of healthcare technologies both diagnostic & therapeutic are imported in India, said Dr. Suman Chakraborty, Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Dean, Sponsored Research and Industrial Consultancy, IIT Kharagpur. The barriers for adoption of technology include cost as, generally, imported devices are high priced, making them unaffordable. Yet another is the climatic conditions as imported technologies require carefully controlled conditions of temperature and humidity for accurate and effective operation. Given the erratic nature of power supply in rural India, most often these climatic conditions are difficult to achieve or maintain in a sustainable manner, he added. Further, the user-skill requirement is an issue. This is because the current devices require highly skilled human resources for accurate operation using multiple steps. In rural India, there is an acute shortage of such personnel. In fact it is estimated that the country-wide shortage is almost 5.0 million. Even as it may be possible to train rural youth in such skill sets, they will immediately migrate to urban areas in search of higher salaries and better lives.

Elderly to get priority at all hospitals in Kolhapur district
ET Healthworld- Vivek Waghmode

KOLHAPUR: Senior citizens will no more have to stand in queues for treatment at any hospitals, government or private, in Kolhapur district as they will be accorded priority. District collector Daulat Desai has issued a directive in this regard to government, semi-government, cooperative, private hospitals as well as those run by trusts or non-governmental organisations (NGOs). “Strict action will be taken against hospitals found ignoring the directive and failing to accord priority to senior citizens when they come to seek treatment,” he said. “We have received complaints from senior citizens that they face problems while getting treatment at both government and private hospitals. They have to wait in long queues for doctors and get treatment,” said Desai. The collector said the issue also surfaced during a meeting of the representatives of senior citizens in the district, following which it was decided to ask all the hospitals to give priority to them. “We have issued instructions to all the authorities concerned to take immediate steps and implement the order. The hospital authorities have been asked to put up boards at their facilities stating that priority will be given to senior citizens and they should not wait in queues for treatment. This will help hospitals to lift their image,” said Desai.

61 Ayushman empanelled hospitals under lens in Meerut city
ET Healthworld- TNN

Meerut: An inquiry has been initiated against 61 Ayushman scheme empanelled hospitals in Meerut city after a team of central government officials, during a random inspection, found irregularities in three empanelled hospitals. A five-member team has been formed to conduct checking at all the hospitals. According to officials, the empaneled hospitals can be removed from the scheme if “severe cases” of irregularities are found. “A central committee found irregularities in three hospitals in Meerut, namely Anand Hospital, Jagdamba Hospital and Apsanova Hospital. While Anand Hospital showed 300 beds on paper, it only had 250 beds. Jagdamba Hospital showed the Out Patient Department as admission ward and charged bills accordingly. Meanwhile, in Apsanova Hospital, the resident medical officer was found missing,” said Raj Kumar, Meerut chief medical officer. Following instructions from Meerut district magistrate Anil Dhingra, the five-member team was formed. It would be headed by chief development officer Isha Duhan. “In this backdrop, an inquiry has been set up against all the 61 empanelled hospitals. We have to prepare a report in this regard and send it to the district magistrate. After this, the higher authorities will inform about the action taken in this regard,” said Kumar.