The Prescription: 17th April 2016 Issue
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News Archive

Pooja Khaitan

Yet another proud moment for PSM INDIA as our founder-director gets elected to the Governing Board of the International Alliance of Patients' Organisation. With greater responsibility we move forward towards implementation of Universal Health Coverage for all. Read more on the event in PSM capsules.

Comfort and safety of patients depend upon correct prescription and its right dispensing. Though, strip cutting has incurred huge loss, distress, confusion amongst consumers, pharmacist and also manufacturers; strict norms, regulations regarding the correction of the practice is still awaited. PSM capsules touches upon this issue as well. Read More>>>

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Pooja Khaitan
Chief Editor , The PRESCRIPTION Partnership for Safe Medicines India.


“NHM will focus on devolution, decentralization and timely responsiveness to enhance the reach and effectiveness of the health programmes under the National Health Mission”.

Shri JP Nadda
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare

PSM India Capsules
Mr. Bejon Misra gets elected to the Governing Board of IAPO

At the7th Global Patients Congress at Selsdon Park Hotel South London UK from 9th to 11th April 2016 our Founder Mr Bejon Misra of Consumer Online Foundation and Patient Safety and Access Initiative of India Foundation has got elected as a Member of Governing Board of the International Alliance of Patients' Organisation today at the General Body Meeting of IAPO. IAPO has 250 Members, representing 47 disease areas and 67 countries, and represents an estimated 365 million patients worldwide. When Mr Bejon Misra was asked about the victory, he said: "it is a proud moment for India as it is for the first time India has got recognised for the first time within IAPO as a major player to speak up on policies in healthcare delivery system globally and actively engage within WHO to bring patient centric culture within the healthcare ecosystem". He further said that " the theme of the 7th Global Patients Congress is Innovation improving sustainable access: boosting your reach and impact. My priority will be to implement the Universal Health Coverage and ensure quality and safety of medicines and healthcare is made accessible for all".

Report from Greater London speaking to the editor of "The Prescription" and THE AWARE CONSUMER.

Urgent attention needed in tablet/capsule strip cutting despair

Very recently, Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suspended licenses of few retail chemists for refusal to dispense medicines by cutting the strip of a specified medicine. The All India chemist fraternity has fervently opposed the action terming it unjustified and impractical to follow. FDA had issued a circular a month ago stating that retail chemists not dispensing medicines in cut strips as per physician's prescription and instead dispensing the entire strip is in contravention to Rule 65 (11) of Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Rules.

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Drug Laws & Policy Injections
On World Health Day, Health Minister launches new health initiatives and Mobile APPS7th April, 2016 : “We need to focus on the youth and adolescents of the country in our efforts to prevent and combat lifestyles diseases such as Diabetes”, stated Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare. He was speaking on the occasion of ‘World Health Day’, on 7th April, 2016. He added that prevention and awareness about non-communicable diseases which are largely linked with our way of living, dietary habits, lack of exercise etc., will go a long way in ensuring that the country remains healthy. Read More
Government of India launches Rotavirus vaccine as part of Universal Immunization Programme; terms it a 'historic moment' March, 2016 : “We have achieved a new milestone towards expanding the coverage of full immunization in the country aimed at reducing child mortality”. Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare stated this at the national launch of the Rotavirus vaccine as part of the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) of the country, here today. Terming this as an historic moment and an exemplary step in India’s immunization programme, the Union Health Minister added that the Government is committed to reducing morbidity and mortality in children. Read More
Health ministry issues Guidelines on 'Similar Biologics' to lay down regulatory pathway for marketing authorization in IndiaMumbai,April 2016: The Union health ministry has issued Guidelines on 'Similar Biologic' which will lay down the regulatory pathway for a similar biologic claiming to be similar to an already authorized reference biologic. The guidelines address the regulatory pathway regarding manufacturing process and safety, efficacy and quality aspects for similar biologics. Read More
Health ministry to expand blood component separation facilities to achieve target of 4 lakh litres of plasmaMumbai 2016: The Union Health Ministry is planning to expand the blood component separation facilities in the country to achieve the target of producing 4 lakh litres of plasma from the current 1.5 lakh litres of plasma in the next two years’ time. Read More
Pharma Injections
New drugs take the pain out of tracking and combating diabetes 7th April, 2016 : Trulicity, a weekly non-insulin drug, was introduced in India two months ago. “It’s a single-dose loaded pen that does not require mixing nor measuring, and is recommended for people who have uncontrolled glucose despite taking oral drugs. Read More
'Vegetarian' capsules to replace animal-based capsules soon 7th April, 2015 : There would soon be 'veg' medicines too in the market. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) may soon come up with a decision over a proposal to switch to cellulose based vegetarian capsules, replacing the widely-used, animal-based gelatine capsules. Read More
Study on use of FDCs: lack of awareness of use helps promote its overuse Chennai, 7 April 2016: A survey on the use of fixed dose combination drugs (FDC), conducted prior to the Union Health Ministry's FDC ban of March 10, has revealed that the number of FDCs available in the medical stores in the country promote their overuse owing to lack of awareness of their rational use. Read More
Suntan can block vitamin D synthesis April, 2016: Suntan can block harmful UV rays but significantly blocks vitamin D synthesis in the skin, according to a Brazilian study. In certain individuals, plasma vitamin D may be lower even after very high rates of sun rays exposure. Read More
Drug Dopes
CDSCO published list of approved drugs in India in 2016 LIST OF NEW DRUG APPROVED FROM 01-01-2016 to 31.03.2016 Read More
Government bans manufacture of Meningitis drug New Delhi, 1 April 2016: The Government has banned Liposomal Amphotericin B, an injection-based drug used to treat potentially life threatening fungal infections, including meningitis. Chemical salt, amphotericin B, features among the National List of Essential Medicines. Read More
Indian scientist develops computer models to map brain disorders April 9, 2016: Computational neuroscientist at the School of Biotechnology of Amrita University in Kerala has developed a computer model to understand the brain disorders. Read More
Phone app 'bridges treatment gap' Andhra Pradesh : Millions of people around the world are affected by common mental disorders such as depression, emotional stress and suicidal tendencies at some point in their life. Even in the most developed nations, these conditions can go untreated and in some cases, undiagnosed. Read More
National Injections
Chandigarh marked as the Diabetes capital of India April, 2016, New Delhi: On the occasion of the World Health Day, 7th April, 2016, Chandigarh scored the dubious honour of having the highest prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes in a new survey unveiled by Government of India. Read More
TN Drug Department initiates regular inspections of retail shops to ensure no sale of banned drugs Chennai, April 2016: In the wake of the FDC ban by the Union health ministry, the Tamil Nadu Drugs Control Department has decided to continue inspection and checking at the retail counters all over the state for next one more month to ensure that no banned medicinal product is in the market, said M Abdul Khader, Director of Drugs Control. While briefing the post ban actions by the regulatory wing, Abdul Khader said the Department has not given any time-frame to the traders to return the banned products despite repeated requests from the chemists and druggists associations for a short period of time. He said ADCs and Drug Inspectors are aggressively inspecting and watching the sale and circulation of drugs in the market. No prohibited combination drug will be allowed to sell or distribute in the market, he maintained. Read More
MMC to frame charges against pathologists for unethical practices Mumbai, 2016: The Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) is in the process of framing charges against 6 pathologists in Baramati, Sangli, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Panvel and Borivali who were found involved in unethical practices like selling their signatures to laboratories to generate extra income. Read More
Costly equipment gathering dust in Government hospitals: CAG report Bengaluru, 2016: High-end expensive medical equipment procured by major State-run hospitals in Karnataka are lying unused for years either because there are no technicians to handle them or because they have not obtained the statutory compliance from the authorities concerned. This has made it inevitable for patients to depend on private hospitals for diagnostic facilities. Read More
Alarm over rapid rise of killer fungal infection April, 2016 : Heena Patel (38) was in shock. The doctors recently removed almost half of her face, including the right eye, in a surgery to save her life. Heena has seen many oral cancer patients undergo such surgeries but all she had was a fungal infection! "Heena was not alone, the deadly Mucormycosis fungal infection is taking several victims into its fold, especially the diabetic and people with low immunity. Given the fungus's rapid rise, a year-long national study , spanning 17 centres across India, has been initiated. Investigation centres include AIIMS, Delhi; CMC Vellore, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai; Apollo Hospital in Chennai among others," says a city-based infectious diseases specialist Dr Atul Patel who is the principal investigator of the study. Read More
Global Injections
On World Health Day, UN urged global efforts to halt rise in diabetes 7 April 2016 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon marked World Health Day with a strong call for stepping up global efforts to halt the rise in diabetes and improve the lives of those living with this dangerous but preventable and treatable disease. Read More
FDA investigates alleged fake materials in surgical mesh 4th April, 2016 : The US FDA has said it is "aware" of allegations that Boston Scientific's surgical mesh products contain counterfeit materials and will investigate the matter. The statement by the regulator is the latest development in a long-running saga, Read More

Counterfeit hydrocodone claims lives in the US3rd April, 2016 : A fresh outbreak of deaths related to counterfeit painkiller products has hit the US, claiming several lives in the Sacramento area. The fake pills - prepared to look like a hydrocodone product but actually containing fentanyl, another more powerful opioid analgesic - have killed 10 people at last count and hospitalized 30-plus others in the last 10 days, according to local reports.Read More

Cholera caused 216 deaths in KenyaApr 9, 2016 : Kenya's Health Ministry confirmed on Friday that 216 people have died from an outbreak of cholera since December last year. Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health Nicholas Muraguri revealed the country registered a total of 13,299 cases across 28 counties, Xinhua reported.Read More


Three san francisco residents dead after ingesting fake xanax

April, 2016 : A group of San Francisco friends took what they thought was the anti-anxiety medication, Xanax. Within 48 hours, three of them were dead due to overdoses of the powerful end-stage cancer painkiller, fentanyl. Three residents of San Francisco have died as a result of taking counterfeit Xanax, according to KRON4 local news report. The report followed a warning from the San Francisco Health Department linking overdose cases to fake Xanax pills laced with fentanyl that had been found by the department.

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Former pro cyclist pleads guilty misbranded/non fda approved drug importation

Nicholas Brandt-Sorenson, a professional cyclist who was suspended from racing for 2 years after testing positive for banned substances, has now pleaded guilty to misdemeanour charges as he illegally imported Chinese-made drugs for resale through his website.

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Frequently Asked Questions Q1. What is meant by Blister packaging in medicines?
Answer: Blister pack is a term for several types of pre-formed plastic packaging used for small consumer goods, foods, and for pharmaceuticals. Blister packs are commonly used as unit-dose packaging for pharmaceutical tablets, capsules or lozenges. Blister packs can provide barrier protection for shelf life requirements, and a degree of tamper resistance. The primary component of a blister pack is a cavity or pocket made from a formable web, usually a thermoformed plastic. This usually has a backing of paperboard or a lidding seal of aluminum foil or plastic. A blister that folds onto itself is often called a clamshell.Read More>>>

Q2. What is medicinal lozenges?
Answer: They are generally small usually sweetened solid piece of medicated material of any of various shapes that is designed to be held in the mouth for slow dissolution and often contains a demulcent /sore throat medicine or pastille, troche. Throat lozenges are medicated tablets that you can easily buy over-the-counter. These tablets are to be dissolved in the mouth slowly to lubricate the throat linings and suppress irritation. Sucking a lozenge dissolves the ingredients present in them. These ingredients stimulate the salivary gland to produce saliva. Saliva mixed with the lozenge ingredients coat the throat lining to reduce dryness and itchiness. However, different ingredients in a lozenge may have a different effect on the throat.
Lozenges may contain benzocaine, an anesthetic, or eucalyptus oil, menthol, peppermint oil and/or spearmint as their active ingredient(s). Non-menthol throat lozenges generally use either zinc gluconate glycine or pectin as an oral demulcent. Honey, Ginger, lemon lozenges in combinations are also available. But, lozenges provide temporary relief ; for consistent problem, doctors opinion is recommended.

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