The drug BGR-34 is available to patients in the country since 2015. The formulation was developed and required scientific studies were carried out by the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), research units functioning under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The tests include standardization, product validation on the basis of modern scientific parameters, antioxidant activity determination, optimization of herbal components for best activity, assessment of anti-diabetic activity and safety studies etc.
Availability of the Ayurvedic drug BGR-34 in Government Hospitals and Dispensaries in the country falls under the domain of procurement agencies of the concerned State Government/Public Sector Undertaking (PSU’s)/Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS)/Municipalities/Employee State Insurance (ESI)/New Delhi Municipal Corporation(NDMC) etc.
Since BGR-34 is licensed under the proprietary Ayurvedic Medicine category and its availability is possible only through tenders. Inclusion of drug BGR-34 in the tender depends on the responsive bid, price and qualifying approved Standard Operative Procedure (SOP) for procurement norms of the concerned procurement agency.
NDMC and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD)make availability of Medicine for any resident of Delhi. In ESI the availability of the drug is subject to having a valid ESI Health card by the individual and their family. In CGHS the Medicine is made available to CGHS beneficiaries through local chemists as it does not come through tender.
The government of India has adopted a strategy of Co-location of AYUSH facilities at Primary Health Centres (PHCs), Community Health Centres (CHCs) and District Hospitals (DHs), thus enabling the choice to the patients for different systems of medicines under a single window. The engagement of AYUSH Doctors/ paramedics and their training is supported by the Department of Health & Family Welfare.
While the support for AYUSH infrastructure, equipment/furniture and medicines are provided by the Ministry of AYUSH under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM). Similarly, Ministry is also doing efforts for the operationalization of AYUSH Health & Wellness Centres by upgrading AYUSH dispensaries and existing Sub health centres through NAM under the collaboration of the Department of Health & Family Welfare.
This information was given by the Minister of Ayush Shri Sarbananda Sonowal in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.
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Indians eat more fibre-rich plant based diet than people in the Western countries, reducing their risk of gut-related problems such as inflammatory bowel diseases like crohn's disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), colitis, and colon cancer, according to a research on Tuesday.
The international study, including researchers from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER)- Bhopal, sought to understand the relationship between gut bacteria and inflammatory diseases.
"Increased intake of carbohydrate in the form of fibre such as wheat, vegetables, fruits and lentils, mostly found in Indian diet lowers the incidence of IBD, crohn's disease, colitis, colectral cancer, etc., than western diets that are generally meat-based," lead author Dr Vineet K. Sharma, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, IISER Bhopal, told IANS.
The human gut contains 300-500 types of bacteria that are necessary for our survival. These bacteria help in digestion, protect us from infections and even produce essential vitamins and neurochemicals.
Depending on the kind of bacteria that dominates the gut, human beings are generally classified into three "enterotypes" -- Prevotella, Bacteroides or Ruminococcus.
The study included 586 healthy samples from western and non-western populations including 200 samples from India, and 189 IBS samples from western populations.
The 200 gut samples from India were taken from people from several locations in -- Madhya Pradesh, Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, Bihar, and Kerala. It is also the largest gut metagenome study from India, as most such studies are largely based on the Western population.
The findings, published in the Nature's Biofilms and Microbiomes journal, showed that the Indian gut microbiome has the highest abundance of the Prevotella genus of bacteria, in particular, a species called Prevotella copri (P.copri).
This bacterium was also found to dominate the guts of other populations that consume a carbohydrate and fibre-rich diet, such as the Italian, Madagascarian, Peruvian, and Tanzanian. But, the gut microbiomes of people from Western countries like the US are dominated by Bacteroides.
Further, they found that P. copri is significant in the metabolism of complex polysaccharides and dietary fibres in non-western populations.
It is thus logical that this type of bacteria predominates the gut microbiome of the healthy Indian and non-western population that consumes a diet rich in plant-carbohydrates and fibres, Sharma explained.
"The proportion of P.copri in Indians is 30 per cent and can reach upto 60-70 per cent. Of the more than 1200 species of Prevotella, P.copri is the most abundant in Indian human gut," Sharma told IANS.
On the other hand, the guts of Western population were found to have other Prevotella species such as P. intermedia and P. nigrescens. These bacteria are usually found in the mouth, which points to a mouth-gut axis. These bacterial species are inflammatory and have high virulence and antibiotic resistance genes, making the Western population more susceptible to gut inflammatory diseases.
"Our insights would help in the development of new probiotics and prebiotics for different health-related conditions associated with the gut which is much needed for non-western populations," Sharma said.
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New Delhi, Sep 6 (IANS) In a country, where more than a million people die every year due to tobacco related diseases, it is essential that we save our future generations from the fast-spreading tentacles of tobacco usage.Numerous studies, researches, and surveys reveal that tobacco usage among children is the first step towards addiction. What is more disturbing is that on an average children, as young as 12-13 year old, are using tobacco products such as cigarettes, bidis etc, that are easily within their reach. In a survey of adolescent girls, it was found that 72 per cent of the girls were used to consuming tobacco.The problem of children using tobacco has worsened over the years, as from 12 years 3 months in 2012, the average age when children begin using tobacco products has dropped to 10 years in 2019 – a drop of more than 2 years in a span of 7 years. The situation is particularly grim in the north-eastern states, especially Mizoram, where the youngest tobacco users were found to be just 6 years old!A National Fact Sheet on Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS-4), India, 2019, released by Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, last month highlighted the high prevalence of tobacco consumption among school going children aged 13-15 years.According to the Survey findings, nearly one-fifth of the students aged 13-15 used tobacco in one form or the other (smoking, smokeless, and other forms) in their lives. Prevalence of tobacco use among boys was 9.6 per cent and among girls was 7.4 per cent. The prevalence of smoking tobacco was 7.3 per cent. In case of smokeless tobacco product, the prevalence was 4.1 per cent.Tobacco is the first step towards addiction. Therefore, it is essential that COTPA be well-equipped to curb the usage of tobacco especially among children. "COTPA can be an important tool in protecting our children from the rising menace of addiction," says Priyank Kanoongo, Chairperson, NCPCR, who feels that the proposed amendments to COTPA will make it more effective.Kanoongo, who was delivering the keynote address in the virtual panel discussion around National Fact Sheet on Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS-4), India, 2019, singled out the tobacco lobby for circumventing the laws by advertising tobacco products under the garb of saffron, cardamom and other such materials. He also drew attention to tobacco companies sponsoring sports events and using film actors to entice young children into using tobacco products. However, with the proposed amendments to COTPA coming into effect, such activities and surrogate advertisements will be considered an offence and can attract penal action.The amendments to COTPA will help prevent the illicit trade of tobacco and other drugs at the borders, especially with Myanmar and Bangladesh. It will also ensure protection of street children who are the most vulnerable to addiction. In fact, street children have gone beyond tobacco consumption and have switched over to inhalants.It is estimated that the number of children using inhalants is 1.1 per cent higher than the adults. It has come to light that for Rs 100 worth of plastic bottles that rag picking children sell, traders involved in the scrap business pay only Rs 30 in cash and the rest Rs 70 as inhalants.Amendments to COTPA and social boycott of such traders can help protect young children from falling prey to the vicious cycle of addiction.NCPCR, numerous ministries, and government bodies are collaborating to shoulder the responsibility of protecting our future generation from addiction to tobacco and other drugs. Prahari Clubs at schools that are mentored by Gandhi Smriti Darshan Samiti, installing cameras at school premises to monitor illicit activities, and installing cameras at medical stores and pharmacies to curb sale of Scheduled drugs without prescription, are some of the initiatives that are being piloted.Dr Rajdeep Roy, BJP MP from Assam and a medical surgeon, emphasised on the need for a holistic approach to curb tobacco usage. He shared that in the north-eastern states, children as young as 5-6 years old are seen smoking bidis instead of going to school."We need to tackle this problem. The government can bring in regulations that are supported by medical experts and vetted by people who can vouch that introduction of such rules can curb tobacco usage." Dr Roy observed that although COTPA 2003 had discouraged tobacco usage, there is still a lot that needs to be done. He called out the tobacco lobby for pressurising manufacturing and encouraging usage of tobacco. He called upon these companies to be more responsible and not destroy the future generation of the country.Dr Roy is hopeful that doctors in Parliament across party lines will be supportive of the proposed amendments to COTPA when the bill is presented in the Parliament for discussion. "We are committed to bringing in good laws that will help protect our future generation and patients, as well as are good for the industry," he added.At present, there is negligible awareness about the COTPA guidelines, which enables the tobacco lobby to muffle the discussions around the subject and dilute the efforts. "Even the media has long downplayed the issues that children face," observed Manoj Verma, Senior Journalist, Lok Sabha. However, continued discussions such as this webinar, hosted by Arun Anand, Author and Journalist, and conducted in the context of the recently published GYTS Fact Sheet can help spread awareness at a wider scale to protect our children from the use of tobacco and make India tobacco-free. --IANS san/skp/
Bengaluru, Aug 1 (IANS) Over 3-crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines were administered in Karnataka since the drive was launched across the state on January 16, said the state health bulletin on Saturday."Cumulatively, 3,02,83,982 doses of the twin vaccines have been given so far, with 2,38,011 people, including 87,444 above 45 years and 1,42,048 in the 18-44 years age group receiving the jab across the state on Saturday," said the bulletin here. Meanwhile, 1,987 new cases were registered on Friday, taking the state's Covid tally to 29,05,124, including 23,796 active cases, while recoveries rose to 28,44,742, with 1,632 patients discharged during the day. As epi-centre of the pandemic in the state, Bengaluru reported 450 fresh cases on Friday, taking its Covid tally to 12,27,339, including 8,529 active cases, while 12,02,937 recovered so far, with 377 discharged in the last 24 hours. Among districts where new cases in 3 digits were reported on Friday are: 365 in Dakshina Kannada, 177 in Mysuru, 148 in Udupi, 132 in Kodagu, 108 in Tumakur and 105 in Hassan across the southern state. With 37 patients, including 11 in Bengaluru succumbing to the infection during the day, the state's death toll rose to 36,562 and the city's toll to 15,872 so far since the pandemic broke out in mid-March a year ago. Out of 1,38,532 tests conducted across the state during the day, 30,547 were through rapid antigen detection and 1,07,985 through RT-PCR method. Positivity rate was 1.43 per cent and case fatality rate 1.86 per cent across the state on Friday.--IANSfb/rs
New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has given Mankind Pharma the license to manufacture and market the oral 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) for the treatment of Covid-19, the pharmaceutical company said on Thursday.Mankind Pharma will absorb the technology and manufacture the product at its manufacturing facilities located at Andhra Pradesh's Vizag and Himachal Pradesh.2-DG has been touted as a game-changer in the battle against pandemic as it helps in faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces oxygen dependence in Covid-19 patients.In May, the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) approved 2-DG -- developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) -- for emergency use in moderate to severe Covid-19 patients."Our objective behind this agreement is to ensure maximum reach of this medication to the deserving Indian patients suffering from the deadly pandemic. It is highly important that the Indian patients get such medicines easily and there is no shortage of such lifesaving drugs in the country. With this cause, we have partnered with DRDO to ramp up the manufacturing facilities and distribute the drug widely across India," Mankind Pharma said in a statement.Being a generic molecule and analogue of glucose, it can be easily produced and made available in plenty in the country.The drug comes in powder form in a sachet, which is taken orally by dissolving it in water.It accumulates in the virus infected cells and prevents virus growth by stopping viral synthesis and energy production. Its selective accumulation in virally infected cells makes this drug unique.Moreover, in clinical trials the patients treated with 2-DG showed faster symptomatic cure than Standard of Care (SoC) on various endpoints.--IANSrvt/vd
Tokyo, July 2 (IANS) A team of scientists has identified an anti-malarial drug, mefloquine, that is effective against SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19.The team from Tokyo University of Science and others mathematically modelled the effectiveness of mefloquine to predict its potential real-world impact, if applied to treat Covid-19.They found that mefloquine could reduce the overall viral load in affected patients to under 7 per cent and shorten the "time-till-virus-elimination" by 6.1 days. Their findings are published in Frontiers in Microbiology.To identify drugs with higher antiviral potency than existing antivirals, the team first screened approved anti-parasitic/anti-protozoal drugs.They found that mefloquine had the highest anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity among the tested compounds. Upon testing it against other quinoline derivatives, such as hydrochloroquine, in a cell line mimicking the cell-based environments of human lung cells, they found it to be better."In our cell assays, mefloquine readily reduced the viral RNA levels when applied at the viral entry phase but showed no activity during virus-cell attachment. This shows that mefloquine is effective on SARS-COV-2 entry into cells after attachment on cell surface," said lead scientist Koichi Watashi, from the varsity.To bolster mefloquine's antiviral activity, the scientists looked into the possibility of combining it with a drug that inhibits the replication step of SARS-CoV-2: Nelfinavir.Interestingly, they observed that the two drugs acted in "synergy" and the drug combination showed greater antiviral activity than either showed alone, without being toxic to the cells in the cell lines themselves.While the study must be succeeded by clinical trials, "the world can hope that mefloquine becomes a drug used to effectively treat patients with Covid-19," the researchers noted.--IANSrvt/vd