'Pharma companies don't want any regulation'

Saturday, January 3, 2015
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Protest against unregulated clinical trials. Source: Uday Foundation

Clinical trials in India have for long been inviting controversy due to lack of transparency and regulatory mechanism. While replying to a question in Rajya Sabha in March 2013, the then Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said 438 deaths took place during clinical trials in 2011 while 668 people died during 2010. While hearing the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Swasthya Adhikar Manch in 2012, the Supreme Court asked the Central...

Death in their breaths

Saturday, November 29, 2014
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Sandstone mines of Rajasthan are deathbeds for many. Source:GRAVIS

Though dust is of trivial significance to us, it kills millions of workers in Indian industries and mines. Silicosis, one of the many lung disorders caused by dust, is not only untreatable but also the commonest and most widespread of all occupational diseases. Exposure to large amount of free silica can pass unnoticed since it is odourless, non-irritant and hence is confused with ordinary dust. The problem is more severe in unorganised...

Take it to the heart

Thursday, September 4, 2014
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Know your heart challenges the notion that health is solely an individual's responsibility.

Are you free to be healthy? Can you cut back on junk food, jog around and reduce booze and cigarettes of your own will? "Yes," you might say, "we live in a democracy and can choose how to live." You are right but only partially. In the present times, junk food pervade not just the food courts but also what's cooked in our home kitchens, most of the open spaces for walking and jogging have been turned into parking lots and it's quite easy to...

Tying the knots of health care system- II

Thursday, March 27, 2014
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Noble profession: Nurses adjusting a doctor's mask in Calcutta during World War II. Source: Cecil Beaton/Wikicommons

India's health care system is one of the most privatised in the world. Due to insufficient expansion of the public health system and overall private sector friendly policies of the state, the vast majority of doctors passing out from medical colleges have joined the private sector. In 1950 there were 60,000 MBBS doctors, now there are 7.5 lakh MBBS, equal number of AYUSH doctors and most of them are private providers. Added to this is the...

Tying the knots of health care system

Monday, January 6, 2014
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Noble profession: Nurses adjusting a doctor's mask in Calcutta during World War II. Source: Cecil Beaton/Wikicommons

India’s health care system is one of the most privatised in the world. Thanks to policy of the government to encourage the growth of the private sector, especially since the 1990s, the share of private sector in various components of health care in India today is very high. Due to insufficient expansion of the public health system and overall private sector friendly policies of the state, the vast majority of doctors passing out from medical...

Drug users yet to secure legal immunity

Tuesday, December 13, 2011
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Tripti Tandon of Lawyers Collective talks to GOI Monitor about a recent case which brought the issue of immunity for drug users  under treatment into limelight

Q: Please tell us about the case of Aatish Suraj in which Supreme Court allowed Indian Harm Reduction Network to intervene?

A: The Aatish Suraj v State of NCT, Delhi SLP (Crl) No. 1965 of 2011 was an appeal arising out of an order passed by the Delhi High...

Safe blood efforts in vain

Saturday, October 1, 2011
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On September 11 this year, 23 children with thalassemia tested HIV positive at a civil hospital in Junagarh, Gujarat, where they were reportedly getting regular blood transfusions. The saddest part is this is not the first incident of its kind. In July 2010, at least 56 thalassemic children had tested positive for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C after receiving blood at a government- run hospital in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Another dozen...

Extraordinary measures, a rare case scenario

Thursday, November 10, 2011
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The  movie ‘Extraordinary Measures’ released last year features a family conjuring all means possible to get treatment for their children who suffer from a hitherto unknown disease and are believed to be dying. The family’s struggle as it approaches politicians and pharma companies to seek help in finding cure for the disease depicts the never-say-die spirit of human beings. The disease they fight in the movie is called Pompe, one of the 8,...

Generic drugs: Let's get the obit ready

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
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Thanks to our fast still sedentary lifestyle, there are more medicines than fruits in our baskets and hence a big share of monthly budget is spent on buying them. According to a study published in international journal Lancet, despite living in a welfare state, 78 per cent of the health expenditure is met by Indians from their own pockets. Also 72 per cent of this total expenditure is spent on purchasing drugs. If you think that’s high be...

A perfect trap

Tuesday, June 7, 2011
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In January this year, doctors at a corporate hospital in Delhi claimed to have treated an Iraqi patient of paraplegia using stem cells. The patient, who had lost sensation in his lower limb, was said to be able to stand now. Meanwhile doctors at another private hospital claimed to have treated victim of a bullet injury using stem cells. The girl, who is paralysed waist down, has not fully cured but she is believed to be "showing good progress...

Pretence of a protection

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
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On December 15, 2011, a girl child died in Kerala, within 24 hours of being administered the newly-introduced pentavalent vaccine. While authorities declared that the infant died of breathlessness probably due to breastfeeding, the tragic incident seems to have brought alive the worst fears of health activists opposing the introduction of this vaccine.

Pentavalent vaccine is grouping of the essential trivalent DPT vaccine for...

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