Modi’s generics-only drugs plan worries health experts, Indian pharma sector

India’s plan to bring in a law to ensure doctors prescribe medicines only by their generic names risks proliferating the sale of substandard drugs in a country where regulation is already lax, doctors and pharmaceutical executives say. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said last month that the government was looking at such a law to improve affordability of medicines in…

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Govt cracks whip, no stent can be withdrawn for now

The government has invoked special powers under the law to prohibit stent makers from withdrawing their products from the market for the next six months. Am id reports that several manufacturers, including Abbott and Medtronics, are seeking to withdraw premium, high-priced stents from the Indian market on account of the price cap imposed by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), the…

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India changes definition of blindness, opts for WHO criteria

India has changed its over four- decade-old definition of blindness, bringing it in line with the WHO criteria, a step that would drastically bring down the number of people considered “blind” in the country. According to the new definition, a person who is unable to count fingers from a distance of three metres would be considered “blind” as…

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Promoting Skill Development and Medical Staff Safety to strengthen healthcare systems

India embarked on its health reform journey a decade ago. A need to address the ever-growing disease burden for a geographically and economically diverse population was recognised in the eleventh and twelfth Five Year Plan, with a host of initiatives and programmes at the onset. The private sector too pledged its participation. However, the current healthcare profile…

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Drug regulatory system set to get Make in India, ease of doing biz makeover.

The government has decided to withdraw the Drugs and Cosmetics (Amendment) Bill, 2013, and replace it with a new one keeping in mind advancements in the therapeutic sphere and in stem cell research, clinical trials, regenerative medicines, and also in online sale of medicines and medical devices. The review of the existing law will be…

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Health could soon become a fundamental right

Health may soon be declared a fundamental right of every individual, similar to education, if the draft National Health Policy proposed by the ministry goes through. Pending for nearly two years, the draft is expected to be sent to the Cabinet early next month, official sources said. “We have already circulated a Cabinet note. It should…

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US Congress Passes GMO Food Labeling Bill

Consumers wanting to know if their foods contain genetically modified ingredients will be able to find out for the first time. Congress sent legislation to President Barack Obama on Thursday that would require most food packages to carry a text label, a symbol or an electronic code readable by smartphone that indicates whether the food…

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Enhancing retirement age of docs to strengthen healthcare

Health Minister J P Nadda today said that the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to increase the retirement age of doctors to 65 years will “immensely” strengthen the public healthcare system. “Extremely thankful to Hon. PM for his guidance in health sector. We are fully committed to doing all that is needed for enhancing health…

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Toxic Chemicals in Bread, Burgers, Pizza? Health Ministry Orders Probe

The bread available in India could be laced with toxic chemicals that can lead to thyroid disorders and cancer, the non-profit Centre for Science and Environment, or CSE, said after conducting a series of tests. The Union health ministry has ordered an investigation into the matter. Products of five popular multinational fast-food outlets — KFC,…

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Health Ministry launches Longitudinal Ageing Study in India

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare launched the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI), here today. Launching the project, Shri B P Sharma, Secretary (HFW) stated that this is the largest survey of its kind. It will survey more than 60,000 elderly over 25 years plan. He further added that this survey will provide…

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Health, education to top PM Modi’s meeting with council of ministers

Progress made on setting up of three new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), six new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and six Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), among other things, is likely to figure prominently when Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds a review meeting with his Council of Ministers on Wednesday. This will be the…

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Arun Jaitley vows corruption-free governance, reasonable tax rates

Seeking investments to boost growth, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today vowed a corruption-free governance, reasonable tax rates and non-discretionary allotment of natural resources to make it easier for companies to do business in India. He asked the states to compete among themselves to provide most investor-friendly environment, saying ease of doing business is not merely…

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