Health Current Affairs

Health Ministry revokes Pioglitazone suspension

Screenshot_3As per a notification issued by the Union Health Ministry, the suspension imposed on the diabetes drug Pioglitazone and all its combinations has been repealed.

Why Pioglitazone was banned earlier?

Under the Drugs and Cosmetic Act 30-B, sale of any drug, the use of which is prohibited in the country of origin, is banned in India until clinical data substantiate that it is risk free. There are several health risks involved with PioglitazoneThough it is generally used in against type 2 diabetes and hyperglycemia, there has been higher occurrence of fractures hands and feet in female diabetics given this drug and is also associated with bladder cancer and congestive heart failure as found in some Western studies.

What are the new guidelines for the sale of Pioglitazone?

The Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) has recommended that the drug may be allowed to be sold and consumed in the country, with sufficient caution. It suggested that the manufacture and sale of Pioglitazone may be allowed, provided the manufacturer clearly mentions on the package insert and promotional literature of the drug that Pioglitazone may not be used as a first line of therapy for diabetes. It has also recommended that the manufacturers carry a box warning, clearly mentioning the risks/side effects of the drug in bold red letters on the package. It has also asked the doctors to make sure that the drug is not used in persons with active bladder cancer or a history of bladder cancer in the family. Doctors should review the safety and efficacy of the drug after three to six months of prescription and the drug maybe continued only if the patient seems to be deriving any benefit.


Nationwide survey shows 44 top Indian cities below global median of doctors

The IMS Health Physician and Chemist survey on the state of healthcare in the country disclosed that 44 of the top 120 Indian (metro and non-metro) cities are below the global median of 1.2 doctors per 1000 population, while 76 cities are above this benchmark. The survey points out that there is an alarmingly low doctor density in rural areas.

As per IMS Health Physician and Chemist survey:

  • Amongst the metro cities, the density of doctors to 1,000 population is more than double compared to the national average of 0.65.
  • Delhi has the highest density at 2.05 doctors due to the fact that it has the highest numbers of doctors in India(33,5000).
  • Mumbai has one of the lowest density of doctors, 1.52 per 1,000 population, due to the fact that it’s the most populous city.
  • Amongst states, Haryana has the highest doctor density.
  • Some cities are over-served by the healthcare system like cities of North India account for 31% of doctors in the country, but only 28% of the country’s population lives there.
  • As compared to this, east and south India have a considerably lower density of GPs (non-MBBS) compared to the Indian average.
  • When compared across the chemist population similar unevenness was found.
  • Around 42% of chemists in India are concentrated in the top nine most populated cities, and 29% of chemist sales are performed without any prescription.
  • 37% of chemist outlets are attached to doctor clinics, polyclinics, hospital facilities, and nursing homes.