• More than 50% of all medicines are prescribed, dispensed or sold inappropriately
  • Half of all patients fail to take medicines correctly
  • More than 50% of all countries do not implement basic policies to promote rational use of medicines
  • CDMU - Reaching out to bring essential medicines within reach and making quality healthcare affordable

TB, diabetes drugs to get cheaper

On May 10, 2015

The Times of India (Kolkata) The drug price regulator has capped prices of 30 medicines, including antibiotics and those used in treatment of diabetes, tuberculosis and malaria. The move is expected to bring down prices of most of the medicines by 25-30%. However, in some cases the reduction could be as much as 50%.

Pharma cos dodging tax: CAG study

On May 8, 2015

The Times of India (Kolkata) The Indian pharma industry has been resorting to a slew of dodgy tax avoidance practices which include claiming exemptions for illegal freebies given to doctors, research work which was not taking place, and other tricks, reveals a new report of India's audit watchdog, the CAG. The report also takes to task the income tax department for allowing these practices causing tax losses worth crores of rupees.

Rational Drug Bulletin

Volume 24 Number 1 January 2015

Whenever a drug is prescribed for a patient, we should consider some points:
(i) Does the patient need any drug at all?
(ii) Is the drug being given to relieve symptoms, to treat the underlying condition, or to make the patient feel that something is being done for him?
(iii) Is the drug the most suitable for that patient and that condition?
(iv) Is the drug the cheapest drug of that type? If it is not, could a cheaper drug do the job as well?
(v) What side-effects may the patient suffer?
(vi) Do the possible benefits to the patient outweigh the possible risks of the drug?
(vii) How may the drug interact with the other drugs the patient is receiving?

CRACKING THE WHIP - Soon, a portal for med grievances

On March 14, 2015

The Times of India (Kolkata)
A dedicated web-based redress mechanism has been set up for consumers facing shortage of medicines or being overcharged by pharmacists.` Pharma Jan Samadhan' promises response within 48 hours of a complaint. A consumer can lodge a complaint along with the medical bill if they are overcharged for medicines or can inform the government directly in case of shortage of medicines.

Bar codes on way to check drug health

On March 14, 2015

The Times of India (Kolkata)
To ensure medicines sold in the country are genuine products, the health ministry has developed a `Track and Trace' mechanism that will enable consumers to check safety and authenticity of a drug on the internet.

Price notice to device firms

On February 23, 2015

The Times of India (Kolkata)
The government seems to be cracking the whip on medical device companies by issuing them a showcause notice for not revealing their prices.
Sources said the government was keen to monitor prices of medical devices such as exorbitantly-priced cardiac stents and implants, so as to prevent patients being overcharged. It has set a deadline of two weeks for the details to be submitted.

Med bills must show price cap

On February 23, 2015

The Times of India (Kolkata)
The government, in an attempt to empower consumers and save them from paying more for medicines, is set to make it mandatory for chemists to mention in the bill whether they are selling a price-controlled product or not.

Big boost: New drug raises hope for an HIV vaccine

On February 20, 2015

The Times of India (Kolkata)
Scientists have developed a novel drug candidate that may lead to a potent and universally effective HIV vaccine. Researchers found that the new drug candidate blocks every strain of HIV-1, HIV-2 and SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) that has been isolated from humans or rhesus macaques, including the hardest-to-stop variants. It also protects against muchhigher doses of virus than occur in most human transmission and does so for at least eight months after injection.

Patients spend Rs 2,500cr on stents every year in India

On February 20, 2015

The Times of India (Kolkata)
Following Norms Would Have Saved Rs 1,500cr
Patients spend about Rs 2,500 crore on cardiac stents alone every year in India even by conservative estimates, the bulk of it being paid from their own pockets. This does not include the cost of blood tests, angiography, procedures, charges for hospital stay, doctor's charges and so on.
An estimated four lakh stents were implanted in India in 2014. Of this, over 85% were drug eluting stents (DES), for which most patients pay anything between Rs 55,000 and Rs 80,000. Annually, the stent market is estimated to grow by about 15%, with the growing incidence of cardiovascular diseases. Hence, the market is expected to grow steadily.

Many Indian drug combos harmful: Study by Rupali Mukherjee

On February 10, 2015

The Times of India (Kolkata)
A study in respected medical journal Lancet has ripped apart India's drug regulatory system and the domestic pharma industry, saying the Indian Drug Act makes it possible for harmful fixed dose combinations (FDCs) to evade both approval and price controls.

`80-90% crucial drugs imported from China'

On January 29, 2015

The Times of India (Kolkata)
If Prime Minister Narendra Modi's `Make in India' mantra has to be implemented in some sector first, it has to be in the pharma industry.

Drugs sold online sans prescription

On January 29, 2015

The Times of India (Kolkata)
Despite Risk, Biz Thrives In Absence of Policing
A prescription for disaster is being written on the internet, in India, as unauthorized buyers log on to get drugs including stimulants and anti-depressants that should be sold only with a physician's prescription.
Inquiries by TOI found that plenty of websites take orders and deliver the drugs at the buyer's doorstep through courier. A call to a popular online supplier of drugs in New Delhi, which operates on the web under `USA medications without prescriptions' tag said they sell all kinds of medicines from Xanax (anti-anxiety drug) to Ephedrine (a stimu lant) and Viagra.

44% advised surgeries needlessly, finds survey `Even Docs Seek 2nd Opinion If Told To Go Under Knife'

On January 04, 2015

The Times of India (Delhi)
Is surgery necessary? A medical second opinion services centre has found an uncomfortable answer to this question that traumatizes every family when a dear one is advised surgery. Almost 44% of the 12,500 patients for whom surgery was recommended were advised against it by their second opinion consultants.

Drug price watchdog in states?

On January 04, 2015

The Times of India (Kolkata)
The government plans to spread its regulatory wings to keep medicine prices under stringent check in every nook and corner of the country and save consumers from paying more.
It is working to set up drug price monitoring cells across the country to keep a close watch on real-time price movements, the maximum retail price of medicines and their availability, a senior official said.

Govt to Priorities Drugs, States to Revive Jan Aushadhi Pharmacies

On January 02, 2015

The Economic Times (Kolkata)
Govt may trim distribution list for such outlets to 40-50 mass consumption drugs

To infuse a fresh lease of life into the struggling Jan Aushadhi chain of pharmacy outlets, set up to make affordable generic drugs available to people, the government plans to focus on select drugs and states, spruce up supply chain and encourage doctors to use generic names of drugs.

Competition, Delay in Drug Approvals May Take a Toll on Pharma Cos' Health

On January 02, 2015

The Economic Times (Kolkata) - Kiran Somvanshi
With global macro-economic scenario turning volatile, Indian players may have to strategise harder to stay ahead

For investors, the export-oriented, defensive pharma sector produced high returns (of over 45%) during 2014. The year was indeed an important one for the sector -the Sun-Ranbaxy Deal, recovery in domestic market in the aftermath of price control, record sales in the US -all resulting in its out-performance on the bourse. With the global macro-economic scenario turning volatile, there are signs that the going may not be as good in 2015.

Infections resistant to 'last antibiotic' emerge in India

On December 29, 2014

The Times of India (Kolkata)
It is the beginning of the end. Hospitals in India are now recording cases of infections resistant to colistin, the last antibiotic available in the world. It was brought back from a 40-year exile in 2005 to treat increasing number of infections resistant to other high-end antibiotics. For now, colistin is the only cannon left in the medical armoury to treat bacterial infections, mainly those acquired in the hospital that no drug can treat. The number of such cases is rare, but worrisome, say doctors.

MED DATA BOOST - Report drug side-effects on govt toll-free helpline

On December 19, 2014

The Times of India (Kolkata)
Now, consumers can call to directly report adverse reactions or their bad experiences from any medicine.
The health ministry has launched a toll-free number where people can call and report the side-effects and problems faced by them along with details of the medicine suspected to have caused the adverse reaction.

Gearing Up to Meet Healthcare Needs

On November 19, 2014

The Economic Times (Kolkata)
The market for chronic illness medicines has grown at a much faster rate than that for other ailments The last five years has seen the highest volume growth in anti-diabetic medicines followed by those for treating semi-chronic ailments in urology (urinary-related) and dermatology (skin care).

Ranbaxy Sues US FDA for Revoking Nod to Generics

On November 19, 2014

The Economic Times (Kolkata)
Says FDA has overstepped jurisdiction by revoking approvals given years back Ranbaxy Laboratories has sued the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in an American court for revoking approvals the company had to market generic versions of patented drugs exclusively for six months in the US market -Astra Zeneca's anti-ulcer pill Nexium and Roche's anti-viral Valcyte. Ranbaxy's marketing opportunity from this has been estimated by analysts at upwards of $200 million. Of this, they estimated revenue from generic Nexium to top $160 million.

Heart disease hits Indians early, diabetes, high BP make it worse - The Times of India (Kolkata)

On September 30, 2014

Malathy Iyer, Mumbai
In the Indian pool of heart patients, almost every second patient has high blood pressure, every fourth has diabetes and every fifth had plaque deposits in his her arteries.

Stop prescribing drugs for fever, cold, medical body will tell docs - The Times of India (Kolkata)

On September 27, 2014

DurgeshNandan Jha, New Delhi:
`Overuse Of Meds A Major Health Risk' Faced with the scary prospect of losing lives to simple infections in the future, India is finally waking up to the dangers of reckless antibiotic use. The Indian Medical Association, a pan-India voluntary organization of doctors, will on Sunday launch a nationwide awareness programme on overuse of the life-savers, a practice that has led to the emergence of drug-resistant organisms. The IMA will also ask fellow practitioners to avoid unneces sary prescriptions such as recommending antibiotics for patients with fever and cold, which are generally caused by viral infections.

India withdraws regulator's power to cap non-essential drug prices

On September 23, 2014

By Aditya Kalra and Zeba Siddiqui
NEW DELHI/MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's drug pricing authority said the government has withdrawn its power to set prices of non-essential medicines, but price caps on over 100 non-essential drugs that drew the industry's ire in July will remain.

Indian Firms Make Inferior Drugs for Poor Nations: Report

On September 16, 2014

India-made drugs sold in Africa are inferior and of poorer quality when compared with those sold in India and other middle income countries, alleges a new paper by an US think tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the findings of which are scheduled to be announced in a briefing at the Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

The Most Expensive Drugs Sold in India

On September 16, 2014

In 2006, US drug maker Gilead Sciences Inc introduced the concept of voluntary licences in India, where it gave permission to some Indian companies to manufacture and sell its anti-HIV drug Viread. Now, Gilead has applied the same strategy for Sovaldi, considered to be a path-breaking treatment to cure Hepatitis C infection.

Generic drugs skip quality control test, govt apathetic

On September 16, 2014

While the Indian government is pushing generic drugs as they are cheaper and, therefore, more affordable, there seems to be inadequate attention on ensuring that the quality protocol of these drugs is properly observed.

Hepatitis C drug to cost Rs 49L less than in US

On September 16, 2014

Sofosbuvir, the wonder medicine for Hepatitis that costs $84,000 or Rs 50.4 lakh for a 24-week treatment regimen in the US, will soon be available in India for about $1,800 or roughly Rs 1.1 lakh for the same regimen.The patent holder, pharma major Gilead, announced on Monday that it would sell the drug at this price in India and also give voluntary licences to seven Indian pharma companies to produce it.

Standard Treatment Guidelines, Organized by CDMU in collaboration with SIGN & FSI, Patna

On September 10, 2014

On September 10, 2014 the 2nd edition of Standard Treatment Guidelines [STG] prepared by CDMU in collaboration with Social Initiatives for Growth and Networking and Forum for Social Initiative, Patna was launched.

2nd edition of Standard Treatment Guidelines lauched

On July 21, 2014

On July 21, 2014 the 2nd edition of Standard Treatment Guidelines [STG] prepared by CDMU in collaboration with Social Initiatives for Growth and Networking was launched.

Key Diabetes, Cardiac Drugs to get cheaper

Rupali Mukherjee, July 14, 2014

Copying with the inflation demon will become a tad easier for the burdened consumer. In a move that has surprised and shaken the industry, prices of widely used expensive antidiabetic and cardiac medicines will reduce over the next few weeks by as much as 35% with the drug pricing regulator, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), deciding to bring them under price control.

Use of antibiotics in India rises 62% in 10 yrs: Study

Kounteya Sinha, July 14, 2014

BRICS Nations Lead Spurt Worldwide From 2000-10

India has emerged as the world's largest consumer of antibiotics, with a 62% increase in use over the past decade.
Global Trends in Antibiotics Consumtion, 2000-2010, a study by scientists from Princeton University, has found that worldwide antibiotic use has risen by 36% over those 10 years, with five countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) responsible for more than threequarters of that surge.

Pharma co prices breast cancer drug in tiers

Rupali Mukherjee TNN, November 6, 2013

Mumbai:The $7-billion Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai, which set up operations in India nearly eight years ago, is extending its affordable pricing strategy by introducing a critical breast cancer drug through a tiered model. The exorbitantlypriced drug Halaven, which costs around Rs 4.8 lakh per four cycles, prescribed as a third-line treatment for metastatic breast cancer, will be offered to those from lower socio-economic classes free of cost. This is in addition to the two other medicines already sold under the affordable pricing strategy at one-tenth of the global price, says the company’s Asia deputy president Yuji Matsue.

Innovative drugs, anti-Alzheimer’s drug Aricep and gastro-intestinal drug Parit, are already sold under an affordable pricing strategy here.

Kolkata, Howrah hit hard by diabetes

TIMES NEWS NETWORK, November 5, 2013

Kolkata: Urban areas of Bengal — Kolkata and Howrah in particular — have the highest prevalence of diabetes in the state but awareness on the disease nicknamed ‘silent killer’ is still low.

Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced.

While 3.5%-5.7% of Bengal’s population is diabetic, the figure shoots up for Kolkata (12%) and Howrah (13.2%). “There are mainly three districts — Kolkata, Howrah and Burdwan (8.7%) — where the rate of diabetes is higher than other areas because of mass urbanization coupled with stress-related problems. Diabetes can be controlled if treated at an early stage but most people come to us very late, sometimes even 10 years late, so the chances of getting cured become remote,” said Subhankar Chowdhury, secretary of Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI).

City doctors offer answer to random use of antibiotics

Prithvijit Mitra TNN, November 5, 2013

Kolkata: Doctors in the city will soon be able to refer to a website and choose the best possible antibiotic for a particular bacteria. An antibiotic protocol is on the verge of being put together by a 15-member “Task Force for Antibiotic Stewardship Kolkata” that comprises doctors from five city hospitals.

The task force is ready with a software — titled “The Life” — that can analyze data on bacterial prevalence and drugs used to combat them and offer the best possible antibiotic solution for individual patients. To be uploaded in January, the software will be free and accessible to all.

A huge volume of data on bacteria, drugs used to combat them and the results has been gathered by the task force from five hospitals — Ruby General, Fortis, Medica Superspecialty, KPC Medical College and Saroj Gupta Memorial Cancer Research Institute (SGMCRI), Thaukurpukur. “We will analyze the data that will give us an idea about the kind of bacteria that’s prevalent in various parts of the city and its outskirts. It’ll also throw light on the kind of antibiotics that are proving to be effective in terminating the bacteria. So far, we have not had any information on these. Once we have that, it will be easier to draw up an antibiotic protocol that’s necessary to prevent antibiotic resistance,” said Dayanath Mishra, director of DM Hospital and a member of the task force.

Plan panel aims at cheaper drugs for all

Times News Network, September 26, 2013

Kolkata: The Planning Commission is embarking on a project which would develop a system to provide affordable, acceptable and accessible medicine for every Indian, said Arun Maira, member, Planning Commission, Government of India.

“We will be starting the process of identifying and inviting key stakeholders who would facilitate the project,” said Maira, on the sidelines of a seminar organized by ICRIER-KAS-FICCI. “We are hoping that the roadmap of the project would be formulated by the middle of next calendar year,” he added.

Maira mentioned they have a partner, who will be identifying stake holders and mapping the systems. “A report on this will be presented to the commission by October,“ said Maira.

Supply essential drugs: Govt to cos, stockists

Rupali Mukherjee TNN, September 24, 2013

Mumbai: Perturbed by reports of shortage of essential medicines on retail shelves after the implementation of new pharma policy, the government has sent out a sharp message to drug companies and trade channels to ensure their availability across the country. Supplies of widely used medicines such as pain relievers paracetamol and diclofenac, treatment for worms albendazole and those used in chronic ailments like cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin, diabetes drug metformin and blood pressure drug enalapril have been affected.

The drug pricing regulator, NPPA (National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority), in a strongly worded communication to pharma companies and distribution channels, has warned that the Essential Commodities Act may be invoked against those who disrupt the supply and distribution of essential medicines.

Accreditation mandatory for clinical trials

Shobha John TNN, September 19, 2013

New Delhi: In an attempt to bring about reforms in clinical trials, a six-member expert panel constituted by the ministry of health and family welfare has said that in future, these trials can only be carried out in accredited centres where the principal investigator is also accredited.

These recommendations, already on the website of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), are part of the Professor Ranjit Roy Chaudhury Expert Committee on New Drugs and Clinical Trials Approvals and they attempt to weed out fly-by-night operators who collude with drug companies and doctors to approve drugs whose trials have never taken place.

“While some of the recommendations can be implemented within two months after consultations, others will require an amendment of rules,” says a health ministry official.

46 drugs to be sold only on prescription
From March ’14, Chemists Will Have To Keep Record Of Prescriber, Buyer

Times News Network, September 18, 2013

New Delhi: Habit-forming antibiotics, anti-TB and other such drugs like sleeping pills will not be freely available at chemists from March 1, 2014, following a government notification that regulates the use of 46 such medicines.

These drugs won’t be available over-the-counter (OTC), and will be sold only through a doctor’s prescription. Chemists will have to record the names and addresses of prescriber and buyer of all such drugs in a separate register. As per the notification, such records will have to be maintained for three years and they will be open for inspection by the regulatory authority, the Drug and Controller General of India (DCGI).

Crowdsourcing drive for TB, malaria drugs

Himanshi Dhawan TNN, September 18, 2013

New Delhi: Giving crowd sourcing a whole new meaning, scientists at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have initiated a country-wide venture to build a chemical library with diverse compounds that will successfully drive drug discovery programmes, particularly for neglected diseases like tuberculosis and malaria.

CSIR had launched the Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) in 2008 with the objective of discovering drugs for neglected diseases like TB, malaria and others through open innovation and sharing of research that has been lauded across the globe.

Building on the current programme is OSDD Chemistry outreach programme (OSDDChem).

State staring at shortage of drugs

Pushpa Narayan TNN, September 01, 2013

Three major drug manufacturing associations have warned that at least four states — Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Gujarat —will soon face a huge shortage of essential drugs as many distributors and retailers looking for more profit aren’t stocking them.

More than a month ago, the Centre revised the National List of Essential Medicines thus bringing down the prices of more than 300 essential drugs. The price of paracetamol, for instance, was reduced to less than a rupee. Prices of diabetes medicines, glibenclamide and metformin, and blood thinner medicines for people with hypertension were also slashed.

However, the revision hit profits for distributors and retailers, many of whom refused to lift stocks at the revised rates. Pharma body wants state to intervene to avoid shortage

Panel raps govt over clinical trials, lapses

Rupali Mukherjee TNN, August 31, 2013

Mumbai: In a further indication of the rot in the country’s healthcare system, a parliamentary panel has rapped the government for gross irregularities in drug trials, under-reporting and lapses in monitoring serious adverse events and lethargy in safeguarding health, in studies on cervical cancer prevention vaccine by a US-based non-governmental agency. Charging the government for inaction, the parliamentary committee on health says in a report that the issue has been diluted with no accountability fixed on erring officials for serious violations committed in the studies which led to the death of hapless tribal children three years back.

Raising concern on the manner in which the US NGO, PATH (Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health) set up office in the country, the panel says it conducted clinical trials for HPV vaccines under the garb of “observational project” by violating all guidelines.

The trials were suspended following deaths of five girls in Andhra Pradesh, and two deaths in Gujarat in 2009-2010 after being administered the HPV vaccines. The vaccines were provided by two pharmaceutical companies — Merck and GlaxoSmithKline — through PATH, during studies carried out in collaboration with government agency, Indian Council of Medical Research and the states. The project was reportedly funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Lack of clarity hits drug pricing plan

Rupali Mukherjee TNN, July 30, 2013

Mumbai: The watershed drug pricing policy that was to have kicked off on July 29 after a decade of intense debate and planning, is now threatened by a variety of reasons including court cases and bureaucratic lethargy. Confusion in the pharma industry persists along with a fear of shortage of essential drugs, with companies moving court to delay implementation of the new drug price control order (DPCO) and industry organizations seeking more time to comply.

The chaos has led to companies and trade channels being unclear about complying with the 45-day deadline of introducing new packs with the revised price. As a result, retail shelves will still have old stocks with no change in prices, while companies and trade grapple with the logistics mess involved in recalling and supplying medicines. The 45-day deadline of the first list of 151-odd medicines, including antiinfectives, anti-diabetics and antibiotics whose prices were to be revised as part of the DPCO 2013, ended on Monday.

Health min ups ante against patents

Pushes For Use Of Rare Clause To Revoke Patent Of Breast Cancer Drug

TNN, July 23, 2013
New Delhi: The health ministry has asked for a cancellation of patent to Trastuzumab — a medicine which treats a form of breast cancer — using a rarest of the rare provision in the Indian Patents Act. The move comes after the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) turned down a plea for a compulsory licence, or suspension of the patent, to make the medicine more affordable.

Industry department has also opposed the move to cancel the patent of Swiss drug major Roche, arguing that it was already facing post-grant opposition in the Patents Office. The health ministry had suggested that the government use powers under section 66 of the Indian Patents Act to revoke the patent in public interest. The government has used the provision to revoke patents only twice. In 1994, it cancelled a patent given to a US firm for developing cotton cells by tissue culture while last year it used the power for a medicine made of jamun, lavangpatti and chandan meant to treat diabetes.

Anaemia pill at schools

The Telegraph, July 16, 2013

Our SPECIAL Special Correspondent New Delhi, July 15: Children in government and publicfunded schools across India will receive a weekly tablet of iron and folic acid to reduce anaemia under a programme to be launched this week.

The initiative will cover about 60 million boys and girls enrolled in Classes VI to XII at government and aided schools, a senior health official said today. It will also cover 70 million out- of- school girls, aged 10 to 19, under the Integrated Child Development Scheme.

A nationwide health survey seven years ago had indicated that five in 10 girls and three in 10 boys aged 15 to 19 have anaemia, which can impair physical growth and work performance in adolescents. Factors contributing to anaemia include poor intake of iron- rich food, iron and blood loss because of intestinal worms, and iron loss during menstruation in girls. Anuradha Gupta, joint secretary in the Union health ministry, said Rs 135 crore had been set aside for the programme during 2013- 14.

Lead poisoning affects 20% city kids Is Your Child Suddenly Slow Or Irritable? Check For Lead Poisoning

Prithvijit Mitra TNN, July 14, 2013

Kolkata: It’s a silent killer that could be taking a heavy toll on young children. A study by doctors in Kolkata reveals that at least 20% of the city’s children are affected by lead poisoning, which is turning out to be a bigger threat than anyone imagines.

Sixty percent of the Kolkata samples tested positive for lead poisoning. This is twice the national average. What makes it even scarier is that the symptoms are too subtle to be noticed. By the time, parents realize something is wrong, the damage is already done and the child is destined for a lifetime of ailments.

When 10-year-old Rajib Ray started faring poorly in school, his parents thought he had stopped being attentive in class. His grades steadily went down but his parents got alarmed only when he failed the final exam. “He was fairly good in studies, so it was a bit surprising. Then, we found that he couldn’t memorize his lessons despite trying hard. When we took him to the doctor, we were told that it could be the fallout of lead poisoning. We got his blood tested and our worst fears came true. It was probably the lead-based paint on his toys that poisoned him,” said Ruchira Ray, his mother.

Glaxo admits to bribing officials, doctors: China

Saibal Dasgupta TNN, July 12, 2013

Beijing: Senior managers of British pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)’s local unit have confessed to bribery, “serious” business offences and tax crimes, the Chinese government has said.

“As a big multinational pharmaceutical company, GSK China in recent years rampantly bribed some government officials, a number of pharmaceutical industry groups and funds, hospitals and doctors,” Chinese ministry of public security said in a statement.

Wockhardt drugs recalled in UK

Times News Network, July 12, 2013

Mumbai: Britain drugs regulator MHRA said on Thursday it has asked Wockhardttorecall16medicines from pharmacies and wholesalers in the UK after it found deficiencies in manufacturing procedures at the company’s Waluj plant.

In May, the US Food and Drug Administration had also imposed an “import alert” on the same plant. Earlier, Wockhardt had said that the FDA’s action potentially affected around $100 million in revenue on an annualized basis. An “import alert”, effectively a ban, results in the detention of drugs, without physical examination, from companies that have not met good manufacturing practices, according to the FDA website.

Banned diabetes drug to be back

Pushpa Narayan & Janani Sampath TNN, July 12, 2013

Chennai: Anti-diabetic drug pioglitazone, which was banned by the health ministry a few days ago, is likely to be back in pharmacies soon. Health ministry sources told TOI the government decided to revoke the ban on Thursday after a meeting with 12 doctors, a majority of whom argued there was no affordable alternative to the drug, prescribed for a large number of diabetics in the country.

The ministry will formally revoke the ban on manufacture and sale of the drug within a week. Till then, it will insist that pharmaceutical companies print a warning on the cartons. At the meeting, a couple of doctors maintained that the drug carried the risk of causing bladder cancer, while many others said the ban made diabetes management ineffective and expensive.

Fresh plea filed against drug price control in SC

Rupali Mukherjee TNN, July 8, 2013

Mumbai: Non-government organisations (NGOs) led by AIDAN (All India Drug Action Network) have filed a fresh application in the Supreme Court as part of their decade-long petition that had forced the Centre to bring all 348 essential drugs under price control. AIDAN, LOCOST, Medico Friend Circle and Jan Swasthya Sahyog together have filed a fresh intervention application in the Supreme Court, opposing the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy (NPPP 2012) and market-based pricing mechanism to fix ceiling prices of drugs which are being brought under price control.

According to the fresh intervention application, the simple average formula to determine the ceiling prices (of drugs) actually increases their prices and legitimizes the high profit margins already present in the pharma industry. The Drug Price Control Order (DPCO 2013) and the NPPP 2012 is at best a “leaky bucket”, according to AIDAN. In addition, the simple average ceiling prices are in many cases higher than the market leader’s price, it says, adding “nothing could be more absurd”.

Diabetes drug ban to help some cos Pioglitazone Ban To Shift Treatment To Other Classes Of Medicines

Rupali Mukherjee TNN, The Times Of India Kolkata, Date: Jul 1, 2013, Section: Times Business

Mumbai: In the wake of a government ban on top-selling diabetes drug, pioglitazone, the volumes are expected to shift to other classes such as first-generation drugs (combination of glimepiride and metformin) and newer class of drugs, „gliptins‟, as well as insulins, even as domestic companies are protesting the ban and examining all options, including legal recourse.

With the shift to other treatments, companies like Sun Pharma, USV, Glenmark, Sanofi-Aventis and Lupin will benefit from the move, analysts say. The combination of glimepiride and metformin is the largest selling product in the anti-diabetic segment, valued at Rs 823 crore (MAT May 2013, AIOCD AWACS). The oral anti-diabetic market is estimated at Rs 3,550 crore, while insulins are around Rs 1,100 crore. Pioglitazone, sold by USV, Sun Pharma, Abbott Healthcare, Micro Labs and Lupin, corners around 20%, or over Rs 700 crore of the market.

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has fixed / revised the prices in respect of more than 150 formulation packs by notification / orders

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has fixed / revised the prices in respect of more than 150 formulation packs by notification / orders as per the DPCO-2013, which are available at www.nppaindia.nic.in

UK, WHO clean chit to Ranbaxy

Rema Nagarajan, Times of India, June 28, 2013

New Delhi: In yet another twist to the Ranbaxy scandal, the drug regulatory authority of the UK government has issued a statement clarifying it has found no evidence that any of Ranbaxy’s products in the UK market “are or have been of unacceptable quality”. The World Health Organization had issued asimilar statement last month.

Coming within weeks of Ranbaxy agreeing to a $500 million settlement for ‘fraud’ in the US, the two endorsements give the Indian pharma major a much-needed boost. Equally, they give cause for cheer to generic drug manufacturers in India and other developing countries, which were fearing being tainted by the Ranbaxy case.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) of the UK explained that on hearing that Ranbaxy had pleaded guilty to felony charges related to drugs made at two facilities in India, it had performed a number of inspections of Ranbaxy sites along with other international regulators, including the USFDA and the WHO.

3 drugs banned over health risks Clampdown On Pioglitazone, Analgin, Deanxit

Rupali Mukherjee, TNN, June 27, 2013

Mumbai: The government has banned three medicines — the widely prescribed anti-diabetes drug pioglitazone, painkiller analgin and anti-depressant deanxit — over health risks associated with them.

While it’s believed that pioglitazone can cause heart failure and increases the risk of bladder cancer, analgin has been discarded worldwide over patient safety. Deanxit, on the other hand, is a harmful combination long banned even in Denmark, its country of origin.

This decision follows the government’s strong stand on suspending marketing of all drugs prohibited for sale in other countries like the US, the UK, EU and Australia.

CDMU Work in Jharkhand


The state of Jharkhand, India’s twenty-eighth state was carved out of southern Bihar and came into existence on November 15, 2000. It is bound by Bihar on the north, West Bengal in the east, Orissa in the south and Chhattisgarh and UP in the west. It covers an area of 79,714 sq km, with 24 districts, 32,620 villages and a population of 29.2 million. With 28 percent of the state’s population comprising tribal communities (compared to the all-India average of 8 percent), Jharkhand was created as a “tribal state”. Jharkhand is one of the poorest and most backward states in the country with low per capita income, 54% of the population live below poverty line.

Health sector

The primary health sector in the region appears to be very precarious with a high level of doctors’ absenteeism: 47 percent of rural respondents reported doctors’ absence in the Public Health Centres (“PHC”). Client satisfaction indicators tell the same story for rural health. As indicated in the Figure below, the current medical program of Govt of Jharkhand set up has very low client satisfaction based on basic medical needs like availability of medicine, children and pregnant women’s treatment along with doctor’s response. The reasons for poor client satisfaction include: distance, absenteeism, attitude, inadequate provisioning for maintenance, and low local-level participation.

Access to medicines – situation in Jharkhand

Healthcare remains a major problem in Jharkhand. Due to its difficult terrain, the problem gets very severe especially in the isolated and interior tribal villages. Lack of nutritious food, proper sanitation, potable drinking water, timely health services and health infrastructures makes life more challenging for the vulnerable communities. The state’s key social indicators such as literacy, enrolment, infant mortality and child nutrition, are well below the all-India average. The Table below narrates the details pertaining to Millennium Development Goals (“MDG”) and social indicators.

TIMES OF INDIA - 3rd Oct 2012

Average life expectancy of Indians rises 4.6 years

Kounteya Sinha TNN
New Delhi: An average Indian lived 4.6 years longer in 2008 compared with a decade earlier. An average Indian woman lived three years more than her male counterpart in 2008.

While the life expectancy (LE) at birth for women was 67.7 years, it stood at 64.6 years for men. This was an increase of 2.5 years and 1.8 years, respectively, when compared to the (LE) in 2002.

According to the latest life expectancy data — to be released by the Registrar General of India this week after a gap of almost five years — the LE of a rural Indian increased by 2.2 years between 2002 and 2008. However, the LE of an urban Indian was up by just 1.2 years over the same period.

Interestingly, an urban female lived 4.9 years longer than a rural female and 7.9 years longer than a rural male. A woman living in rural Kerala had the highest LE at birth across all categories at 77.2 years. In contrast, LE at birth was lowest at below 60 years for a rural male in Madhya Pradesh. Rural males also lived longest in Kerala at 71.2 years, which was 7.7 years longer than the average rural Indian male.

‘Irrational use of medicines rampant’


Kolkata: A prescription audit carried out by CUTS, a consumer movement society, revealed a shocking picture of irrational use of medicines by the city doctors. About 98.03% prescriptions were found to be irrational, while only 1.96% bore the testimony of rational use of drugs.

The survey revealed that most irrationally prescribed drugs were antibiotics, NSAIDs, PPI (proton pump inhibitors), H2 blockers, vitamins, antipsychotics and antihistaminic (allergic). The study, carried out in private hospitals and nursing homes, revealed that only a few hospitals had mechanisms for monitoring the compliance to rational use of drugs (RUD).

Poor access to drugs adds to cancer pain India, Other Nations Fail To Provide All 7 Meds

Kounteya Sinha TNN

New Delhi: Untreated cancer pain has become a global pandemic. Pain can affect as many as 64% of patients with metastatic, advanced or terminal phase disease, 59% of patients on anti-cancer treatment, and 33% of patients after curative treatment. However, a global survey — conducted between December 2010 and July 2012, that came up with 156 reports submitted by experts in 76 countries and 19 Indian states — has revealed that several countries, including India, have failed to ensure adequate access to pain-relieving drugs.

The new data, released during the Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology on Saturday, paints a dismal picture of unnecessary pain on a global scale.


50-plus Indians at risk from chronic diseases

Kounteya Sinha TNN

New Delhi:This should serve as a wake-up call for India’s 50-plus club, who face a serious risk from chronic diseases.

A prevalence of risk factors study by the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted this year among males and females aged 50 or older across six countries, including India, has some worrying findings for Indians.

According to the Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE), 87.9% men and 93.5% women in this age group have insufficient nutrition intake, while 24% men and 26% women have low physical activity. Around one in four men and an equal number of women suffer from high blood pressure. Nearly 63% men and 30% women are daily smokers.

Almost three in four men aged 50 and above and over four in five women have high risk waist-hip ratio or abdominal obesity, which greatly increases cardiovascular disease risk.

Medicine Access

In order to achieve our mission; to improve access to and deliver high-quality essential medicines and medical supplies at the lowest possible price to our member organizations; we focus on four core pillars...


Promoting the concept of essential medicines aiming to develop close relations and for campaign on rational use of medicines to reach out more people...

Training Program

Healthcare delivery needs of the common people cannot be accomplished totally by the government sector. In West Bengal and Jharkhand, a number of NGOs appear to fill a large share of the gap in healthcare delivery...

Lobbying & Advocacy

After 63 years of Independence, over 600 million people in India are still unable to procure the medicine that they need to cure them of various illnesses and for their well-being....