India Pharma

First to launch generic Dydrogesterone tablets

By launching its generic Dydrogesterone tablets for treatment of infertility and pregnancy related complications in the Indian market, Mankind Pharma has become the first Indian and second global firm to develop the drug.

The company’s product is generic version of Abbott’s Duphaston tablets. The manufacturing process of Dydrogesterone is very complex as it involves conversion of natural progesterone.

Progesterone is a natural hormone involved in menstrual cycle, implantation and in successful maintenance of pregnancy. Any deficiency of progesterone during different stages of reproductive process can cause infertility, menstrual disorders and miscarriage.

Breakthrough status for anticancer kit

The USFDA’s Centre for Devices and Radiological Health has designated a medical invention by a Bengaluru-based scientist as a “breakthrough device” in liver, pancreatic and breast cancer treatment.

Cytotron, developed by Rajah Vijay Kumar, aids in tissue engineering of cancer cells, altering how specific proteins are regulated to stop these cells from multiplying and spreading.

Shreis Scalene Sciences is the company that had taken the device to the US. Devices will be made in India, given there are hardly any imported parts: Inventor Cytotron is intended to cause degeneration of uncontrolled growth of tissues.

Kumar had developed Cytotron at the Centre for Advanced Research and Development, which is headquartered in Bhopal, after nearly 30 years of research into cellular pathways and interactions with specifically modulated fast radio bursts.

Biocon sixth among top 10 Global Biotech Employers

Bengaluru-headquartered biopharmaceuticals company Biocon Ltd has moved up to sixth spot in the Top 10 Global Biotech Employers ranking for 2019. It continues to be the only company from Asia to feature on the prestigious USbased ‘Science’ magazine’s annual ‘Science Careers Top 20 Employers’ list, since its debut in 2012.

Ranked at number six among global pharma and biotech companies in 2019, Biocon has moved up from number seven in 2018 and number nine in 2017.

The ranking is a result of the 2019 Science Careers Top Employers global survey conducted by the US-based Science magazine to determine which companies in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry have the best reputations as employers globally.

Biocon was ahead of leading global pharma companies like Novozymes, Roche, Eli Lilly, Abbott, Novartis, Pfizer etc. in the 2019 rankings. The Top 5 global players in this year’s list are Alnylam, Regeneron, Incyte, Merck KGaA and Spark therapeutics.

To reduce cost of insulin and cancer drugs

Biocon Biologics is focusing on innovative business models to reduce the cost of human insulin and cancer drugs, as it looks to build a pipeline of 28 biosimilars across global markets.

The company plans to create an ecosystem where patients not only have access to the right medicine, but also gets the right care without always reaching a hospital. The company said it does not want to emulate any particular model, but the idea of ensuring universal access to diabetes medicine or rh-insulin comes from the fact that even after 100 years of the patent being written off many do not have access.

So far, four biosimilars of Biocon Biologics have been commercialised globally.

Parliamentary panel recommends integration

A parliamentary committee has recommended integration of Indian Systems of Medicine with the modern scientific advances to provide accessible, affordable and quality primary health care.

It also asked the state governments to implement measures to enhance the capacity of existing health care professionals including practitioners of Indian Systems of Medicine to address state specific primary health care issues and challenges.

The Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare, in its 115th report submitted noted that there is an acute shortage of doctors and health workforce in the country, especially in rural, remote and tribal areas of the country.

The committee is of the view that the traditional Indian System of Medicine (ISM) which largely focuses on holistic view of health and well being can be utilized as an affordable means to tackle various illness including noncommunicable diseases.

Govt urged to make cancer treatment affordable

The parliamentary standing committee on science and technology, environment, forest and climate change has urged the government to upgrade the infrastructure for cancer treatment and make it affordable by enlarging the network of a leading healthcare institute.

The committee submitted its report on “an expanded role for the department of atomic energy in cancer treatment in India through an enlarged network of the Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) in Mumbai”.

The panel has recommended to set up a hub and spoke model under the Tata Memorial Centre, which is the leader in cancer treatment and is supported by the Department of Atomic Energy.

Decline in maternal mortality rate

India has registered a 26.9 per cent reduction in Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) since 2013, according to the Sample Registration System Bulletin-2016.

The decline in MMR has been from 77 to 72 per 100,000 live births among southern states and in the other states, from 93 to 90. The ratio has declined from 167 in 2011-2013 to 130 in 2014-2016 and to 122 in 2015-17, registering a 6.15 per cent reduction since the last survey figures of 2014-2016, according to the special bulletin of the Office of the Registrar General.

The first report on maternal mortality in India (1997-2003) was released in October 2006. The WHO last year lauded India’s progress in reducing the MMR saying the progress puts the country on track towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of an MMR below 70 by 2030.

Key to quality healthcare services at low cost

Greater private sector innovation and use of technology like digital tools would help India provide quality healthcare services at low cost, billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft co founder Bill Gates has said.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been working in areas of health-care, sanitation, agriculture and financial services for the underprivileged people in India for over a decade.

The Foundation’s biggest work has been broadly in the health area helping to get new  vaccines introduced, helping to look at innovations in some of the disease-specific areas, like tuberculosis or visceral leishmaniasis (VL) or lymphatic filariasis (LF).

Gates said the efforts of the foundation has been to use digital tools and dashboards in a better way so that performance in implementation of the programmes can be effectively monitored and it is ensured that the supply chain is working well.