India’s drug prices regulator calls for better oversight of private hospitals

India’s drug prices regulator calls for better oversight of private hospitals

India’s drug pricing authority called for better regulation of the country’s massive private healthcare industry on Friday to ensure government efforts to cut prices benefit patients. To cut the cost of procedures such as angioplasty and knee surgery, India’s National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has dramatically reduced prices of knee implants and cardiac stents in recent months. The move has been hailed as a major effort by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make healthcare affordable, but it has been met with stiff resistance from healthcare providers. Several hospitals across…

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There’s hope for cancer patients. A jet lag drug could ease chemotherapy-induced pain

There’s hope for cancer patients. A jet lag drug could ease chemotherapy-induced pain

A drug used to ease the effects of jet lag may also prevent the painful side effects of cancer medications, a study claims. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh and University of Aberdeen in the UK found that a drug known as melatonin appeared to prevent pain caused by chemotherapy damage to nerves by blocking the harmful effects on nerve health. They focused on a common condition known as chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain (CINP), which causes tingling and pain to touch and cold temperatures, that can be severe enough to cause…

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Drug for Kidney Disease Tied to Infection Risk

Drug for Kidney Disease Tied to Infection Risk

A clinical trial was stopped early when researchers discovered that patients on the drug — a corticosteroid called methylprednisolone — suffered a concerning number of serious side effects. Most often, that meant severe infections, including pneumonia and meningitis. Overall, nearly 15 percent of patients on the drug had a serious “adverse event” over two years, the investigators found. That compared with 3 percent of patients given placebo pills, the researchers reported. The study focused on patients with a form of kidney disease called immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy. It arises when…

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Brazil issues first license for sale of a cannabis-based drug

Brazil issues first license for sale of a cannabis-based drug

Brazilian healthcare regulator Anvisa on Monday said it had issued the country’s first license for sale of a cannabis-based drug in the country after years of legal wrangling with patients. The multiple sclerosistreatment, an oral spray derived from marijuana and developed by Britain’s GW Pharmaceuticals PLC, is known as Sativex internationally and will be sold in Brazil under the brand name Mevatyl. The legal status of cannabis-based drugs has been a thorny issue in Brazil for years, with several patients fighting in the courts to circumvent prohibition. Anvisa has loosened…

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New drug shows promise in repairing failing hearts

New drug shows promise in repairing failing hearts

New drug shows promise in repairing failing hearts A new experimental drug has shown promise in restoring cardiac function after heart failure, according to results of an early human trial. The researchers found that an infusion of the drug cimaglermin was generally tolerated except for transient nausea and headache. “These findings support continued clinical development of the investigational drug cimaglermin, including further safety evaluations and detailing the potential improvement on clinical heart failure outcome measures,” said lead author of the study Daniel Lenihan from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, US….

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Laser therapy with deep-sea drug kills prostate cancer cells

Laser therapy with deep-sea drug kills prostate cancer cells

A non-surgical treatment for lowrisk prostate cancer, in which doctors inject a light-sensitive drug derived from deep-sea bacteria into a patient’s bloodstream, was shown in a trial to kill cancer cells without destroying healthy tissue. Results of a trial in 413 patients showed that the drug, which is activated with a laser to destroy tumour tissue in the prostate, was so effective that half the patients went into remission, compared with 13.5% in a control group.”These results are excellent news for men with early localised prostate cancer, offering a treatment…

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Breakthrough malaria drug likely by ’18

Breakthrough malaria drug likely by ’18

Breakthrough malaria drug likely by ’18 (Getty Images) Contrary to the perception that drug research is mostly focused around the diseases of the elite, the antimalarial drug pipeline has increased nearly three-fold since 2008, with at least three new medicines expected to be launched in two to five years. India, where a lot of clinical trials have already begun, is likely to get a breakthrough anti-malarial drug Tafenoquine by 2018. The drug, a one-day-two-dose treatment, has already entered phase-three trials and once approved will replace the current 14-day treatment for…

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Wilson’s disease drug goes off the shelves

Wilson’s disease drug goes off the shelves

Wilson’s disease drug goes off the shelves A life-saving medicine D-Penicillamine, used in treatment of Wilson’s disease, is unavailable across the country, jeopardising lives of many patients. The shortage, primarily caused because of short supply of raw material used in the drug, prompted the drug regulator to call for an urgent meeting on Friday with five manufacturers of the drug. Wilson’s disease is a rare genetic disorder that prevents the body from getting rid of extra copper. The accumulation of copper may damage liver, brain, kidneys and eyes. D-Penicillamine is…

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Artificial scarcity of thalassemia drug feared

Artificial scarcity of thalassemia drug feared

Over 1 lakh people face threat to life. Desefral, the life-saving drug used by thalassemia patients, has been in short supply across the country for around a year, posing a potential risk to the lives of over one lakh people. The shortage has prompted several thalassemia societies and associations and haematologists to write to Union health minister JP Nadda and many state governments for immediate intervention. Patients, doctors, health activists and drug wholesalers told TOI the shortage became acute in the last one month. While Punjab, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Odisha…

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Hepatitis C treatment is possible for drug addicts: Study

Hepatitis C treatment is possible for drug addicts: Study

  Hepatitis C can be cured if restrictions are removed. According to Global health experts, so long as these restrictions exist, the goal of disease elimination will remain out of reach. A new research highlights the pivotal role treatment for people, who use drugs plays in reducing hepatitis C transmission and how it can be rolled out to achieve best results in controlling the fatal disease. Professor Jason Grebely said, “The science is clear. We now need to focus on overcoming barriers to access, and harness latest research to implement…

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