Wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year 2019! Thank you for your continuous support and encouragement that has empowered your favourite magazine to serve you a veritable feast of latest health news, views, trends, research and development initiatives month after month.
As always, we seek your best wishes and participation to enable us to continue to disseminate information and spread awareness about health issues. Double Helical’s last issue of 2018 brings you a variety of interesting, informative and engaging stories. The cover story “Taking Healthcare to the Masses” takes a close look at the state of affairs on the front of universal healthcare in India. Today, affordable healthcare is a big concern. Despite all the efforts being made by the Union government to decrease financial burden of healthcare on people, a lot needs to be done at the ground level to achieve the goal of Health for All. As the government endeavours to pioneer a distinctive model of affordable healthcare, what we need is the implementation of policies and regulations at the ground level, along with equal contribution of public and private sector hospitals
The cost of healthcare is a big burden in most of developing countries including India where the out of pocket medical expenditure is high in proportion. It is reported that many families get pushed below poverty line on account of unexpected healthcare expenditure. The government claims that crores of people are benefiting from Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojna (PMBJP), an initiative to provide medicines at affordable prices. The government is working to provide more beds, hospitals and doctors and has taken one step after the other so that the cost incurred by the poor on treatment comes down, but it also needs to rope in big private sector hospitals in its initiative.
Another story entitled Deadly Drug Combinations raises a very pertinent issue that concerns human health. There is need to closely scrutinize fixed dose combinations (FDCs)such as FDC formulations for type 2 diabetes as they expose patients to unnecessary risk of adverse drug reactions. The story points out that recently, the Union Government has prohibited 328 fixed dose combinations (FDCs) for manufacture, sale or distribution with immediate effect as there is no therapeutic justification for the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) contained in these FDCs that may involve risk to human beings. In the banned FDCs, total 27 FDCs are with combination of Metformin with their various dose levels. This has been highly debated news that attracted the attention of the public at large. The companies showed displeasure and some of the FDCs were taken back.
Some of the FDCs are so irrational that they have the banned drug itself. The FDCs used as pain killers or for cold may not be used consistently for long time but they are used for hypertension, diabetes or even bronchial asthma for years together and the doses need to be adjusted from time to time. This may pose a serious problem. The story presents the challenges and problems with antidiabetic FDCs some of which are banned now.
The theme of another special story headlined “Healthcare of the Future” is based on the gradually evolving trend of digital healthcare. The government has been promoting digital health in its continuous efforts to decrease inefficiencies, remove shortage of human resources, and infrastructure, reduce cost, improve access, increase quality and evolve more customized care for patients
As per the World Bank’s estimates, life expectancy in India is increasing steadily. Hence, self-health monitoring and preventive medicine is also required in higher number due to increasing number of elder patients. In this context, digital healthcare has assumed crucial importance. Almost 6% of newly founded start-ups in India have emerged in the health-tech sector. It is estimated that by 2020, Indian healthcare industry will reach the size of US$ 300 billion and the country would need the almost double workforce by 2022.
There are many more informative, analytical and thought-provoking stories, based on intensive research, insight and field inputs. Happy reading to all of you in the New Year! Team Double Helical would like to welcome New Year with the following Upanishadic prayer:
Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah Sarve Santu Nir-Aamayaah | Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet | Om Shaantih ||
(May all be prosperous and happy
May all be free from illness
May all see what is spiritually uplifting
May no one suffer
Peace, peace, peace!)
Amresh K Tiwary,