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TB survivors at higher risk of developing lung damage

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lung cancer

New Delhi, Aug 9 Tuberculosis (TB) survivors, especially those living in India, are at a higher risk of developing lasting damage to lungs, according to a study done on more than 2,000 Indian patients.

Published in the Lancet Global Health, the study has found that more than one-third of patients who are successfully cured of TB with antibiotics developed permanent lung damage, which, in the worst cases, results in large holes in the lungs called cavities and widens the airways called bronchiectasis.

According to the World Health Organisation’s Global TB Report 2018, an estimated 2.8 million people have contracted TB in India which represents one quarter of all TB cases worldwide.

“This study calls urgent attention to the problem of post-TB lung damage worldwide. TB is a curable condition with antibiotics and great steps forward have been made towards eliminating the disease,” said study lead author James Chalmers, Professor at the University of Dundee.

“But this study is a wakeup call because even if we manage to eliminate all TB worldwide tomorrow, we are going to be left with a legacy of chronic lung damage and bronchiectasis which will require better recognition and better treatment,” he said.

For the study, the research team recruited 2,195 patients with established bronchiectasis from 14 Indian states.

TB survivors and patients with a history of severe infections such as childhood pneumonia made up the majority of patients with lung damage in India. The researchers found that these infections left a legacy of daily cough, further chest infections and poor quality of life.

Patients required further hospitalisations for treatment of their lung conditions in nearly 40 per cent of cases. Patients with post-TB lung damage had lost approximately 40 per cent of their lung capacity, leaving many patients with persistent breathlessness.

Compared with patients in Europe and the US, those in India had more severe lung damage, lung function was worse and patients were more likely to be hospitalised for severe infections.

Recommended treatment for these patients such as inhalers, physiotherapy and antibiotic treatment for infections were rarely provided.

Physiotherapy exercises and antibiotics are inexpensive treatments which are proven to improve quality of life and reduce lung infections, but were available to less than 50 per cent of Indian patients.

The Indian government has pledged to eradicate TB by 2025, however this study warns that the TB epidemic could have lasting consequences for the treatment of lung conditions.

Disaster

Coronavirus crisis may get ‘worse and worse and worse’, warns WHO

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus WHO

GENEVA : The raging coronavirus pandemic has the potential to get far worse if all nations do not adhere to basic healthcare precautions, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Monday.

“Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains public enemy number one,” Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from WHO headquarters in Geneva.

“If basics are not followed, the only way this pandemic is going to go, it is going to get worse and worse and worse. But it does not have to be this way.”

Infections rose above 13 million across the world on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, climbing by one million in just five days in a pandemic that has killed more than half a million people.

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Cities

Doctor who managed Goa’s only Covid hospital tests positive

The state currently has more than 900 active Covid-19 cases, with 17 fatalities linked to coronavirus.

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Dr Gomes

Panaji, July 13 : Dr. Edwin Gomes, who had emerged as the face of Goa”s Covid-19 treatment and care effort, and had served as the in-charge of medication of patients at the state’s only designated Covid-19 hospital, has tested positive for the viral infection, a government spokesperson said.

“Dr. Gomes has been admitted to a state government facility for doctors infected by coronavirus,” the spokesperson said.

Gomes, 58, is also the head of medicine at the state”s only medical college, the Goa Medical College, and had last week ended his unbroken 98-day shift at the designated Covid-19 hospital.

The state currently has more than 900 active Covid-19 cases, with 17 fatalities linked to coronavirus.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said that “four to five” Covid-19 patients who died, were suffering from cancer. “Eight to 10 patients were above the age of 80 years, while one also died of liver failure. The death rate has increased due to co-morbid conditions,” Sawant told reporters at the State Secretariat.

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Disaster

Glenmark cuts Fabiflu price by 27%

On June 20, Glenmark announced that it received manufacturing and marketing approval from India”s drug regulator for FabiFlu, making it the first oral Favipiravir-approved medication in India for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19.

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Glenmark Fabiflu

New Delhi, July 13 : Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has announced that it has commenced a Post Marketing Surveillance (PMS) study on FabiFlu to closely monitor the efficacy and safety of the drug in 1000 Covid patients that are prescribed with the oral antiviral.

Further, Glenmark has announced a price reduction of 27 per cent for FabiFlu. The new MRP is Rs 75 per tab from the earlier Rs 103 per tab.

The price reduction has been made possible through benefits gained from higher yields and better scale, as both the API and formulations are made at Glenmark”s facilities in India, the benefits of which are being passed on to patients in the country.

Glenmark has successfully developed the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and the formulation for FabiFlu through its own in-house R&D team within the country, ensuring self-reliance with regard to long term production and manufacturing.

Commenting on these developments, Alok Malik, Senior Vice President & Head – India business, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said, “We expect this post marketing surveillance study to shed more light on the drug”s clinical effectiveness and safety in a large cohort of patients prescribed FabiFlu. Our priority from the start of this pandemic has been to offer patients in India an effective treatment for COVID-19, while also ensuring accessibility to the masses.

“Our internal research shows us that we launched FabiFlu in India at the lowest market cost as compared to the cost of Favipiravir in other countries where it is approved. And now we hope that this further price reduction will make it even more accessible for patients across the country.”

Despite investing significantly in R&D, clinical trials and the manufacturing of FabiFlu (API and formulations), Glenmark has managed to keep the pricing of FabiFlu lower as compared to its price in other countries.

FabiFlu in India was originally launched at Rs 103 per tablet, while, its price in Indian Rupees is higher in the remaining countries like Rs 600 in Russia, Rs 378 in Japan, Rs 350 in Bangladesh and Rs 215 in China.

On June 20, Glenmark announced that it received manufacturing and marketing approval from India”s drug regulator for FabiFlu, making it the first oral Favipiravir-approved medication in India for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19.

The manufacturing and marketing approval was granted as part of accelerated approval process, considering the emergency situation of the COVID-19 outbreak in India. The approval”s restricted use entails responsible medication use where every patient must have signed informed consent before treatment initiation.

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