INDIAN PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES IN THE TIMES OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC

By: Moksha Grover

As the whole world is suffering against the covid-19 pandemic, pharmaceutical industries all over the world are trying their level best to fight against these unprecedented times. The covid pandemic has actually benefitted the pharmaceutical industry and helped in the growth and development of this industry. The Indian pharmaceutical industry is the world’s third largest drug producer by volume and the country’s market manufactures 60 percent of vaccines globally[1]. This constitutes 40 to 70 percent of the supply to satisfy the World Health Organization’s (WHO) demand for Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DPT) and Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) vaccines and 90 percent of the global demand for the measles vaccine[2]. In this covid pandemic, the Indian pharmaceutical industry has played a vital role in distributing affordable and low-cost generic drugs to millions of people around the globe.

GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES

The covid-19 pandemic presented several opportunities for the pharmaceutical companies and helped them to think differently. It helped them to act in a sense of urgency for all the patients who were looking for cheap and affordable medicines. In this pandemic, Indian companies have risen and developed in the field of therapeutics by re-purposing the dugs.

This pandemic also gave the pharmaceutical companies opportunities to work in collaborations with some major global companies for the purpose of developing the covid vaccine in turn enhancing the global connections. Serum Institute of India partnered with Oxford University, Zydus Cadila partnered with Gamaleya Institute of Russia, Panacea Biotec collaborated with US-based Refana Inc and there are many other companies who collaborated for the purpose of producing good and effective vaccines against the deadly virus. These collaborations and partnerships helped the companies to make effective vaccines, develop a stand in therapeutics, and also reach the global market.

Indian pharma industry took a proactive approach during the pandemic and also became successful in proving its mettle in complex and specialty generics. These companies also ensured regular manufacturing by not hindering manufacturing even for a single day. With the development in the pharma industry, eCommerce platforms and industries also developed. In the current pandemic, a great deal of motivation was given to E-pharmacy which helped in ensuring that patients received their medication despite lockdown. The domestic pharma market turnover in India has reached Rs. 1.4 lakh crores (equivalent to $ 20.03 billion) in 2019 as per the government data[3]. This is actually an increase from Rs. 1.29 lakh crores in 2018[4].

CHALLENGES FACED BY INDIAN PHARMACY INDUSTRIES DUE TO PANDEMIC

The source of APIs plays a very crucial role in the strategic plan of the Indian pharmaceutical industry to combat covid-19. A major challenge faced by this industry is the supply of APIs. Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) are defined as the active ingredients contained in a medicine. This pandemic has highlighted the dependence of the Indian pharma industry on imported APIs. Today, 60 percent of India’s API requirement is imported[5]. In commonly used APIs, such as cephalosporins, azithromycin, and penicillin, the dependence is as high as 90 percent [6].  Of the total imports of APIs and intermediates into India, China accounts for 65–70 percent [7]. This is a problem faced by almost the whole west depends upon china for their API supplies. This pandemic has also highlighted low healthcare coverage in India. n terms of healthcare spending, India has one of the lowest healthcare budgets with just 1.26 percent of GDP being spent on healthcare[8]. India ranks 155th out of the 167 countries in terms of hospital bed availability (as per the Human Development Report 2020) with just five beds available for every 10,000 Indians[9].  Such a sudden rise in covid cases in India highlighted the shortage of hospital beds, medicines, and availability of laboratory tests. As pandemics have always shifted the way people react. A similar change has been seen in the consumption pattern of various consumers. There has been an increase in the case of online ordering and e-consultations, especially in the case of chronic diseases. These challenges can result in long-term impacts on this industry.

STRATEGIES FOR PROMOTING INDIAN PHARMA PRODUCTION

Initiatives like Production Linked Incentives (PLI) schemes for bulk drugs and medical devices introduced by the government for the industry’s self-reliance have given a major boost to this industry. These incentives are to the tune of INR6,940 crore and INR3,420 crore, respectively, and encompass greenfield projects for bulk drugs and intermediates, and the establishment of three bulk drug parks[10]. In addition to this, the government should take some steps in removing the financial and technical barriers prevailing within this industry. This will in turn help in reducing the dependency of the Indian pharma industry on china for APIs.

The pharmaceutical companies have now identified the importance of backward integration which is expected to bring greater reliability, improve the quality of production, reduce dependence on external sources of supply, and help in increasing the efficacy of manufacturing. Several key representatives from the pharmaceutical industry and NITI Aayog have suggested fostering the approvals of pharmaceutical infrastructure developments, clearance from the environment ministry, and providing tax exemptions and subsidies for the development and promotion of the pharmaceutical industry hubs could benefit the market[11].

Over the last few years, many tourists have been visiting India for their medical treatment. The government has also relaxed rules for the tourists by issuing rapid airport clearances and fast-track medical visas, thus helping in the promotion of this industry.

CONCLUSION

This covid pandemic has been a boon to the Indian pharmaceutical industry. Medicine spending in India is expected to grow between 9-12 percent over the next five years, leading India to become one of the top 10 countries in terms of medical spending[12]. It is now important for all pharmaceutical companies to shift their product portfolio toward chronic diseases like covid drugs, antidepressants, anti-diabetes, cancers, etc. which are on the hike nowadays. Many initiatives have been taken up by the government to reduce healthcare expenses and make it affordable for the whole population of the country. The introduction of generic drugs has also paved the way for the benefit of pharma companies. It is now important to focus on the rural healthcare system and provide the rural areas with the necessary drugs and preventive vaccines. Doing so will help a lot in the development of pharma companies in India and will also lead to the development of the country as a whole.


[1] Dr Abhishek Dadhich, ‘The COVID-19 pandemic and the Indian pharmaceutical industry’, EPR (22 April,2020) < https://www.europeanpharmaceuticalreview.com/article/117413/the-covid-19-pandemic-and-the-indian-pharmaceutical-industry/> accessed 19th September 2021.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Dr Sujith Varma K, ‘Covid-19 impact on Indian pharmaceutical industry’, PHARMABIZ.COM (10th February, 2021) < http://www.pharmabiz.com/ArticleDetails.aspx?aid=135427&sid=9#:~:text=The%20domestic%20pharma%20market%20turnover,actually%20an%20increase%20from%20Rs.> accessed 19th September,2021.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Sanjay Singh, ‘Pharmaceuticals: emerging not just stronger, but better and smarter’, KPMG https://home.kpmg/in/en/home/insights/2021/04/indian-pharma-industry-boom-mantra.html accessed 19th September,2021.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Dr Sujith Varma K (n 3)

[12] Ibid.

How leeches can help save lives?

This sounds so unbelievable, isn’t it? Many flinch when they even hear of leeches and would be more startled even if they get stuck to the skin and imagining it as part of their treatment is just shocking. Yet this is what is happening in the operation theatre across many countries. But why leeches,only?

Since bloodletting was a prevalent procedure in ancient Greece and Egypt, leeches have been employed therapeutically for thousands of years. At the time, medical professionals thought that drawing blood from a patient might both treat and prevent disease. Leeches were used more frequently than crude devices for bloodletting. The leeches would begin to feed on blood once they were affixed to the patient’s skin. Clearly, contemporary medical professionals oppose the practice of bleeding. However, many people do think that using leeches in some very specialised medical circumstances help saving lives and limbs.

Hirudin, an anticoagulant and antiplatelet drug that serves to prevent blood clots and lessen the quantity of blood clogged in tissues, is found in leech saliva. Even when the leech is removed, other compounds in its saliva keep the wounded area’s circulation flowing, giving time for new veins to develop and current ones to enlarge to carry more blood. In addition, the procedure is painless because when a leech bites, a naturally produced anaesthetic numbs the region.

However,in leech farms around the nation, leeches are raised with the intention of being used medicinally. Before attaching to the patient, they are cleaned, and they are always used once. They are sedated and discarded as medical trash after they have eaten and pruned off the patient.

Chemicals in Medicine

Chemistry plays a very significant role in our everyday life. There is hardly any aspect of life where the chemistry does not play a role. We are indebted to chemists for most of the life saving drugs such as sulpha drugs, penicillin, and streptomycin etc-etc.
Medicinal chemistry is an interdisciplinary field of combining aspects of organic chemistry, physical chemistry, pharmacology, microbiology, biochemistry as well as computational chemistry .It is concerned with the discovery, design, synthesis and interaction of pharmaceutical agent (DRUG) with the body. Medicinal chemistry is mainly concerned with small organic molecules both natural and synthetic. Compounds in clinical use are primarily small organic compounds.

Drugs, Medicines and Chemotherapy

In all systems of treatment of disease viz. Ayurvedic, Unani and Allopathic systems, chemical compounds of natural or synthetic origin are used for the treatment of diseases.
Drugs– They r chemical compounds of low molecular weights which interacts with macro-molecular targets and produce a biological response.
Medicines– When the biological response of a drug is therapeutic (curative) and useful, it is called medicine and is used for the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of diseases.

Distinction between the terms Drugs and Medicines

  • From chemistry point of view, there is no distinction between the two terms, i.e. all drugs are medicines and all medicines are drugs. However, according to our society and law, these two terms have different meaning as follows-
  • Medicines are the chemical compounds used to treat diseases, are safe to use, cause no addiction and have minimum toxicity.
  • On the other hand, drugs are the chemical substances which cure the diseases but are habit forming, cause addiction, and have serious side effects.
  • For Example, both Penicillin and Heroin are used to cure disease. However, only Penicillin is called Medicine since it does have side effects. On the other hand, Heroin is called a drug because of its pronounced habit forming and addictive properties.

Classification of drugs

Drugs can be categorized in a number of ways. In the world of medicine and pharmacology, a drug can be classified by its chemical activity or by the condition that it treats. Anticonvulsant medications, For example, are used to prevent seizures, while Mucolytic drugs break down mucus and relieve congestion. Each of the regulated drugs that act on the central nervous system or alter your feelings and perceptions can be classified according to their physical and psychological effects.

The different drug types include the following

  • Depressants – Drugs that suppress or slow the activity of the brain and nerves, acting directly on the central nervous system to create a calming or sedating effect. This category includes barbiturates (phenobarbital, thiopental, butalbital), benzodiazepines (alprazolam, diazepam, clonazepam, lorazepam, midazolam), alcohol, and gamma hydrogenate (GHB). Depressants are taken to relieve anxiety, promote sleep and manage seizure activity.
  • Stimulants – Drugs that accelerate the activity of the central nervous system. Stimulants can make you feel energetic, focused, and alert. This class of drugs can also make you feel edgy, angry, or paranoid. Stimulants include drugs such as cocaine, crack cocaine, amphetamine, and methamphetamine. According to the recent World Drug Report published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, amphetamine-derived stimulants like ecstasy and methamphetamine are the most commonly abused drugs around the world after marijuana.
  • Hallucinogens – Also known as psychedelics, these drugs act on the central nervous system to alter your perception of reality, time, and space. Hallucinogens may cause you to hear or see things that don’t exist or imagine situations that aren’t real. Hallucinogenic drugs include psilocybin (found in magic mushrooms), lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), peyote, and dimethyltryptamine (DMT).
  • Opioids – These are the drugs that act through the opioid receptors. Opioids are one of the most commonly prescribed medicines worldwide and are commonly used to treat pain and cough. These include drugs such as heroin, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, oxycodone, buprenorphine, and methadone.
  • Inhalants – These are a broad class of drugs with the shared trait of being primarily consumed through inhalation. Most of the substances in this class can exist in vapor form at room temperature. As many of these substances can be found as household items, inhalants are frequently abused by children and adolescents. These include substances such as paint, glue, paint thinners, gasoline, marker or pen ink, and others. Though ultimately all of these substances cross through the lungs into the bloodstream, their precise method of abuse may vary but can include sniffing, spraying, huffing, bagging, and inhaling, among other delivery routes.
  • Cannabis Cannabis is a plant-derived drug that is the most commonly used illicit drug worldwide. It acts through the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Cannabis is abused in various forms including bhang, ganja, charas, and hashish oil.

Therapeutic actions of Different Classes of drugs

Neurologically active drugs -They affect the message transfer mechanism from nerve to receptor.

Tranquilizer

  • A tranquilizer refers to a drug which is designed for the treatment of anxiety, fear, tension, agitation, and disturbances of the mind specifically to reduce states of anxiety and tension.  
  • Tranquilizers fall into two main classes, major and minor. Major tranquilizers, which are also known as anti-psychotic agents, or neuroleptics, because they are used to treat major states of mental disturbance in schizophrenics and other psychotic patients.
  • By contrast, minor tranquilizers, which are also known as anti-anxiety agents, or anxiolytics, are used to treat milder states of anxiety and tension in healthy individuals or people with less serious mental disorders.
  • The major and minor tranquilizers bear only a superficial resemblance to each other, and the trend has been to drop the use of the word tranquilizer altogether in reference to such drugs, though the term persists in popular usage.

Analgesic

  • Any drug that relieves pain selectively without blocking the conduction of nerve impulses, markedly altering sensory perception, or affecting consciousness is called an Analgesic.
  • This selectivity is an important distinction between an analgesic and an anesthetic.
  • Analgesics may be classified into two types: anti-inflammatory drugs, which alleviate pain by reducing local inflammatory responses; and the opioids, which act on the brain.
  • The opioid analgesics were once called narcotic drugs because they can induce sleep. The opioid analgesics can be used for either short-term or long-term relief of severe pain. In contrast, the anti-inflammatory compounds are used for short-term pain relief and for modest pain, such as that of headache, muscle strain, bruising, or arthritis.

Aspirin and its medicinal effect-

  • Aspirin, also known as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), is a medication used to treat pain, fever, or inflammation. Specific inflammatory conditions which aspirin is used to treat include Kawasaki disease, pericarditis, and rheumatic fever.
  • Aspirin given shortly after a heart attack decreases the risk of death. Aspirin is also used long-term to help prevent further heart attacks, ischaemic strokes, and blood clots in people at high risk. It may also decrease the risk of certain types of cancer, particularly colorectal cancer.
  • For pain or fever, effects typically begin within 30 minutes. Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and works similarly to other NSAIDs but also suppresses the normal functioning of platelets.
  • One common adverse effect is an upset stomach.More significant side effects include stomach ulcers, stomach bleeding, and worsening asthma. Bleeding risk is greater among those who are older, drink alcohol, take other NSAIDs, or are on other blood thinners.
  • Aspirin is not recommended in the last part of pregnancy.It is not generally recommended in children with infections because of the risk of Reye syndrome.High doses may result in ringing in the ears.
Structure of Aspirin

Antipyretics

  • Antipyretics are substances that reduce fever.
  • Antipyretics cause the body then works to lower the temperature, which results in a reduction in fever. hypothalamus to override a prostaglandin-induced increase in temperature.

Paracetamol and its medicinal effect-

  • Paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen and APAP, is a medication used to treat pain and fever.
  • It is typically used for mild to moderate pain relief. There is mixed evidence for its use to relieve fever in children. It is often sold in combination with other medications, such as in many cold medications.
  • Paracetamol is also used for severe pain, such as cancer pain and pain after surgery, in combination with opioid pain medication. It is typically used either by mouth or rectally, but is also available by injection into a vein.
  • Effects last between 2 to 4 hours Paracetamol is generally safe at recommended doses. Recommended maximum daily dose for an adult is 3 or 4 grams.
  • Higher doses may lead to toxicity, including liver failure. Serious skin rashes may rarely occur. It appears to be safe during pregnancy and when breastfeeding.
  • In those with liver disease, it may still be used, but in lower doses.It is classified as a mild analgesic. It does not have significant anti-inflammatory activity.
Structure of Paracetamol

Antimicrobials

  • Antimicrobial agent, any of a large variety of chemical compounds and physical agents that are used to destroy microorganisms or to prevent their development.
  • The production and use of the antibiotic penicillin in the early 1940s became the basis for the era of modern antimicrobial therapy.
  • Streptomycin was discovered in 1944, and since then many other antibiotics and other types of antimicrobials have been found and put into use.
  • A major discovery following the introduction of these agents into medicine was the finding that their basic structure could be modified chemically to improve their characteristics.
  • Thus, antimicrobial agents that are used in the treatment of disease include synthetic chemicals as well as chemical substances or metabolic products made by microorganisms and chemical substances derived from plants.

Antibiotics

  • Antibiotics are powerful medicines that fight certain infections and can save lives when used properly.
  • They either stop bacteria from reproducing or destroy them. Before bacteria can multiply and cause symptoms, the immune system can typically kill them.
  • White blood cells (WBCs) attack harmful bacteria and, even if symptoms do occur, the immune system can usually cope and fight off the infection. Sometimes, however, the number of harmful bacteria is excessive, and the immune system cannot fight them all. Antibiotics are useful in this scenario.
  • The first antibiotic was penicillin. Penicillin-based antibiotics, such as ampicillin, amoxicillin, and penicillin G, are still available to treat a variety of infections and have been around for a long time.
  • Several types of modern antibiotics are available, and they are usually only available with a prescription in most countries.
  • Topical antibiotics are available in over-the-counter (OTC) creams and ointments.
Structure of Penicillin

Antiseptics

  • An antiseptic is a substance that inhibits the growth and development of microorganisms.
  • For practical purposes, antiseptics are routinely thought of as topical agents, for application to skin, mucous membranes, and inanimate objects, although a formal definition includes agents that are used internally, such as the urinary tract antiseptics.
  • Antiseptics are a diverse class of drugs that are applied to skin surfaces or mucous membranes for their anti-infective effects.
  • This may be either bactericidal (kills bacteria) or bacteriostatic (stops the growth of bacteria).
  • Their uses include cleansing of skin and wound surfaces after injury, preparation of skin surfaces prior to injections or surgical procedures, and routine disinfection of the oral cavity as part of a program of oral hygiene.
  • Examples such as chlorine, Iodine Dettol, Savlon, Hexachlorophene, Hydrogen peroxide, Boric acid etc-etc.
For Example, Dettol is an Antiseptic Liquid

Disinfectants

  • Disinfectants are antimicrobial agents that are applied to the surface of non-living objects to destroy microorganisms that are living on the objects.
  • Disinfection does not necessarily kill all microorganisms, especially resistant bacterial spores; it is less effective than sterilization, which is an extreme physical and/or chemical process that kills all types of life.
  • Disinfectants are different from other antimicrobial agents such as antibiotics, which destroy microorganisms within the body, and antiseptics, which destroy microorganisms on living tissue. Disinfectants are also different from biocides — the latter are intended to destroy all forms of life, not just microorganisms.
  • Disinfectants work by destroying the cell wall of microbes or interfering with their metabolism.
  • Sanitizers are substances that simultaneously clean and disinfect.
  • Disinfectants kill more germs than sanitizers. Disinfectants are frequently used in hospitals, dental surgeries, kitchens, and bathrooms to kill infectious organisms.
Foe Example, Lizol is a Disinfectant

Anti-Fertility Drugs

  • Anti-Fertility drugs are chemical substances which suppress the action of hormones that promote pregnancy.
  • These drugs actually reduce the chances of pregnancy and act as a protection.
  • Anti-Fertility drugs are made up of derivatives of synthetic progesterone or a combination of derivatives of oestrogen and progesterone. they drugs are actually synthetic hormones.
  • The synthetic progesterone derivatives are more potent as compared to natural progesterone.
  • Norethindrone is an example of synthetic progesterone which is one of the most commonly used anti-fertility drugs.
  • Ethynylestradiol is a combination of derivatives of oestrogen and progesterone. These drugs should not be taken without the consultation of a doctor.

Antihistamines

  • Antihistamines are drugs which treat allergic rhinitis and other allergies.
  • Typically people take antihistamines as an inexpensive, generic, over-the-counter drug that can provide relief from nasal congestion, sneezing, or hives caused by pollen, dust mites, or animal allergy with few side effects.
    Antihistamines are usually for short-term treatment.Although people typically use the word “antihistamine” to describe drugs for treating allergies, doctors and scientists use the term to describe a class of drug that opposes the activity of histamine receptors in the body.
  • In this sense of the word, antihistamines are sub classified according to the histamine receptor that they act upon.
  • Histamine receptors exhibit constitutive activity, so antihistamines can function as either a neutral receptor antagonist or an inverse agonist at histamine receptors.

The two largest classes of antihistamines are H1-antihistamines and H2-antihistamines.

  • H1-antihistamines work by binding to histamine H1 receptors in mast cells, smooth muscle, and endothelium in the body as well as in the tuber mammillary nucleus in the brain. Antihistamines that target the histamine H1-receptor are used to treat allergic reactions in the nose (e.g., itching, runny nose, and sneezing). In addition, they may be used to treat insomnia, motion sickness, or vertigo caused by problems with the inner ear.
  • H2-antihistamines bind to histamine H2 receptors in the upper gastrointestinal tract, primarily in the stomach. Antihistamines that target the histamine H2-receptor are used to treat gastric acid conditions (e.g., peptic ulcers and acid reflux).Histamine receptors exhibit constitutive activity, so antihistamines can function as either a neutral receptor antagonist or an inverse agonist at histamine receptors. Only a few currently marketed H1-antihistamines are known to function as inverse agonists.
Structure of a Histamine

Antacids

  • An antacid is a substance which neutralizes stomach acidity and is used to relieve heartburn, indigestion or an upset stomach.
  • Medical uses:- Antacids are available over the counter and are taken by mouth to quickly relieve occasional heartburn, the major symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease and also indigestion.
  • Treatment with antacids alone is symptomatic and only justified for minor symptoms.
  • Antacids are distinct from acid-reducing drugs like H2-receptor antagonists or proton pump inhibitors and they do not kill the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which causes most ulcers.
  • Side effects:- Versions with magnesium may cause diarrhoea, and brands with calcium or aluminium may cause constipation and rarely, long-term use may cause kidney stones.
  • Long-term use of versions with aluminium may increase the risk for getting osteoporosis.
  • Mechanism of action:-When excessive amounts of acids are produced in the stomach the natural mucous barrier that protects the lining of the stomach can damage the oesophagus in people with acid reflux. Antacids contain alkaline ions that chemically neutralize stomach gastric acid, reducing damage and relieving pain.
  • Examples such as magnesium salts (MgC03,Mg0),Aluminium Salts, Baking soda etc.

Conclusion

Medicinal chemistry is the discipline concerned with the determination of the influence of chemical structure on biological activity. As such, it is therefore necessary for the medicinal chemist to understand not only the mechanism by which a drug exerts its effects but also the physico-chemical properties of the molecules.The primary objective of medicinal chemistry is the design and discovery of new compounds that are suitable for use as drugs. This process requires a team effort. It not only involves chemists but also workers from a wide range of disciplines such as Biology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Mathematics, Computing and Medicine amongst others. It has and it will continue to play an important role in today’s society as it deals with Development, synthesis and designs of Pharmatical drugs. These results are then use to give us a better understanding of diseases as well as giving us ways of preventing and curing them.

Who was the First Plastic Surgeon?

Plastic surgery – the name implies an artificial substance – but it is derived from the Greek word “Plastikos” which means to mold or to give form. An important specialty has been taking shape, one that reshapes the lives of patients. So who was the first plastic surgeon?

John Staige Davis was the first plastic surgeon. He played an important role not only at his council group in Hopkins but also in the United States in the plastic surgery. He limited his practice in the field of plastic surgery in those times. He was the only plastic surgeon who was there when World War I took place.

Dr. John Staige Davis

In 1991, Dr. Davis published the first English language textbook of plastic surgery and it is still used today. He sends copies to medical school founder, doctors and at that time no one acknowledged receiving it. And though plastic surgery at Hopkins would not gain the standard they deserved until the next century, Dr. Davis was helping to build the foundation for the entire discipline of plastic surgery in America.

He used to pioneer the transferring tissue techniques known as “Z- plasty” and the use of small deep grafts to heal chronic wounds. He was the founding member of The American Board of Surgery and The American Board of Plastic surgery. Dr. Davis’s work and reputation starts Hopkins on its way to becoming a crossroad and destination for the country’s best plastic surgeons.

In 1942, John Staige Davis was part-time faculty member and was running a plastic clinic even though he was in his 70s by then and beyond his retirement age, two years from then a forth year medical student at Hopkins had the chance observe the master surgeon doing a cleft lip repair.

His successor Dr. Edgerton graduates and proceeds to work by joining the army and was serving at Valley Forge General Hospital in Pennsylvania. He was one of the few surgeon treating thousands of men coming back from combat with disfiguring wounds and burns needing plastic surgery. This horrendous war injuries united skill surgeon in their desire to heal wounded soldiers. This dynamic gave raise to a new and important speciality in medicine.

Dr. Edgerton

With the scientific foundation and tissue regeneration, transplantation, and stem cell biology plastic surgery is uniquely poised to make the next major advance in medicine. By regenerating or replacing missing body parts, plastic surgery can transform patients life in ways that could not have been imagined only recently.

John Staige Davis didn’t lived to see plastic surgery receive the recognition and support if required and deserved in the world. But his path-breaking work and clear vision allowed a greater dream to be realized.

Where does Ayurveda come from?

All of us are pretty familiar with the term Ayurveda. It is a part of an Indian household and is used almost every day. Not only is it an essential part of our household, but is also an important part of our culture. But have we ever sat back and wondered how and when did Ayurveda origin?

The term Ayurveda is derived from two Sanskrit words, ayur meaning life and veda meaning science of knowledge. Thus, the word Ayurveda as a whole means the science of life. 

Its origin dates back to some 5000 years ago. It is an old art of treating various diseases and conditions that originated in India. It is not only the art of healing but it also teaches us that our health is in balance with the environment, body, spirit and mind. The entire concept of Ayurveda is drawn and based on these 4 factors. 

Ayurveda was first put to practice by Dhanvantari, a physician to the gods in Hindu mythology. It is said that he received the art of Ayurveda from Lord Brahma himself. The first mentions of the Ayurveda are in the Vedas (manuscripts of Hindus), especially in Artharveda. The Vedas are filled with a thousand magical ancient practices of treatment.  It also mentions the ways to expel the demons out of one’s body which were traditionally thought to be the reason behind diseases. The primary conditions mentioned are cough, fever, diarrhea,  seizures, tumours, skin diseases and dropsy. 

Ayurveda is a very wide subject and not only revolves around medication and treatments. It also includes subjects like astrology, government, politics, art and human behaviour.
The recent knowledge of the Ayurveda can be studied through “the great triad” of texts called the Brhattrayi. It consists of three books: Charak Samhita, Sushurta Samhita and Ashtanga Hridaya. They describe the basic principles and theories through which the modern Ayurveda has evolved.
Ayurveda has a deep impact on your body and can give you long term relief. It not only focuses on the symptoms of a disease but focuses on the root of the problems. Thus, an Ayurvedic treatment may show slow progress and maybe long but it shows good results and keeps you healthy for a long time. One of the key reasons why Ayurvedic treatment is considered healthy and safe is because all the medicines and herbs used are organic. They come from the same 5 elements our body is said to be composed of. That is, earth, fire, air, water and space. 

There are several other benefits of Ayurveda.

Benefits of Ayurveda:

  • Aids in weight loss
  • Acts as a stress buster 
  • Balances hormones 
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Removes toxins from the body
  • Reduces risks of diseases
  • Makes skin healthy 
  • Cures insomnia 
  • Reduces bloating 

Some of the important Ayurvedic herbs are Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Turmeric, Cumin and Cardamom. There are hundreds of other herbs that are used in Ayurvedic medicines.
Ayurveda is now begin recognised all around the world. Even WHO has recognised it as a traditional system of medicines. India has also signed an agreement with the WHO for promoting this traditional art. This agreement also includes the practices of  Unani and Yoga. 

Earlier, Ayurveda lost its importance after the country was taken over by the British because they promoted the use of modern medications. This bruised this art form cruelly. 

But now it has slowly begun to be recognised again. Modern medical practitioners have also begun to realise the value of this art form. They are now trying to find a link that will connect Ayurveda to modern science. It is not long that Ayurveda will also see further developments and help in treating people just like ancient times. 

Claims over coronavirus vaccine availability in India false, will confirm once trial results are out: SII

The claim by certain media houses that Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine candidate COVISHIELD will be available in India in the next 73 days are “completely false and conjectural”, the Serum Institute of India (SII), the Indian partner of the AstraZeneca clarified on Sunday.

a close up of a bottle© Provided by Jagran EnglishThe SII said that the official confirmation on COVISHIELD’s availability in India will be confirmed only after the vaccine is proven immunogenic and efficacious in human trials which are currently underway across the country.

“The current claims over COVISHIELD’s availability in the media are completely false and conjectural. Presently, the government has granted us permission to only manufacture the vaccine and stockpile it for future use,” a statement from the Serum Institute of India shared by news agency ANI read. 

The statement further stated that the phase-3 trials for Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate are currently underway and the vaccine will be commercialised in India only after successful trials and necessary regulatory approvals.

“COVISHIELD will be commercialized once trials are proven successful & requisite regulatory approvals are in place. Phase-3 trials for Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine are underway. Only once the vaccine is proven immunogenic & efficacious, SII will confirm its availability officially,” it said.

The clarification from the SII came after a report published by Business Today claimed that the Oxford University-Astra-Zeneca vaccine candidate will be commercialised in 73 days. The website cited a top official from the SII as there source of information.

“The government has given us a ‘special manufacturing priority license’ and fast-tracked the trial protocol processes to get the trials completed in 58 days. By this, the first dosing is happening from today in the final phase (Phase III) and the second dosing will happen after 29 days.

“The final trial data will be out in another 15 days from the second dosing. By that time, we are planning to commercialise Covishield,” an SII official was quoted as saying by the website in its report.  

No Promotion For MBBS Students Without Exams: Medical Council of India

The Board of Governors of the Medical Council of India (MCI), medical education regulator, said in an advisory that no batch should be permitted to move to the next level of the MBBS course without an examination.

New Delhi:

The Board of Governors of the Medical Council of India (MCI), medical education regulator, said in an advisory that no batch should be permitted to move to the next level of the MBBS Course without an examination. The Board in supersession of MCI, after considering various representations received from students, colleges and universities raising various queries about reopening of medical colleges and conduct of university examination, has released an advisory today after a meeting through video conference held last month.

The advisory also said the colleges should aim to complete the first MBBS course (including practicals, lab, demonstrations etc.) within two months of reopening of the colleges as and when permitted by the government, and, thereafter, the first MBBS university exams should be completed as soon as possible, preferably within a month.

The pending supplementary examinations for final year MBBS students which were scheduled during the first half of 2020 should be conducted as soon as possible, as the students are waiting to appear for the examinations having completed the course once already and need not have to wait for the formal reopening of the colleges, the advisory said.

Such students will be joining the medical colleges or hospitals for doing internship just after passing final exams, it added.

“Regarding the conduct of 2nd/3rd (Part 1) and Final year MBBS examination for 2020, the time required for completion of the course would depend on the timing of the re-opening of the medical colleges,” it said.

The Board of Governors anticipated that as for the first year MBBS students, these students would also need about two months to complete the remaining course curriculum and training.

“Consequently, the University exams for 2nd and 3rd (Part 1) MBBS students may have to be delayed by two to three months beyond their scheduled dates,” it said.

It also advised that relaxations provided for the conduct of final year postgraduate examination in terms of the appointment of examiners and the exam patterns, would also be applicable for the conduct of MBBS University examinations.

COVID-19 AND MENTAL HEALTH

It is normal and understandable that people are experiencing fear,worry and stress when they are faced with uncertainty in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic.Added to the fear of contracting to the virus significant changes in our daily lives as our movements are restricted in support of efforts to contain and slowdown the spread of the virus faced with new realities of working from home, temporary employment, home schooling of children and lack of physical contact with other family members , friends and colleagues .It is important that we look after our mental as well as our physical health.WHO together with partners is providing guidance and advice during COVID 19 Pandemic for health workers, managers of health facilities, people who are looking after children , older adults, people in isolation and members of the public more generally to help us look after our mental health.

         Preliminary evidence suggest that symptoms of anxiety and depression(16-28percentage) and self reported stress(8percent) are psychological reactions to the COVID 19 Pandemic and may be associated with disturbed sleep. A number of individual and structural variables moderate this risk.Studies prove that more vulnerable groups identified are older adults , the homeless, migrant workers and children.

       Lack of knowledge among mental health professionals and difficulty in obtaining the cooperation of patients for preventive measures leads to psychotic disorders. As the number of patients affected by this pandemic continues to increase social distancing , using mask and sanitizer were the common measures used to prevent the pandemic and promote the BREAK THE CHAIN program.

      Quarantine, isolation and social distancing in the times of a raging pandemic can be psychologically distressing for many people.Giving Confidence and support to them and to their family is an important factor.FIGHT THE DISEASE NOT THE PATIENT should  be our motto.

AYURVEDIC REMEDY FOR ALLERGIES

Allergies are something that bothers many people. This problem usually occurs when our body comes in contact with unsuitable substances or the atmosphere. Climate, food and medicine are some of the factors that contribute to this. These types of allergies, such as dust allergies, are also common. Allergies are not a disease, but the body’s immune system, so to speak. This is the body’s mechanism to expel what it does not fit into the body. This is the body’s immune system. But this allergy is often one of the things that bothers us the most. Some people have a permanent problem such as dust allergies. Symptoms include sneezing, especially when you wake up in the morning, and frequent sneezing and colds. According to Ayurveda, there are some remedies for such allergies.

According to AyurvedA

According to Ayurveda, allergies are caused by rheumatism, bile and phlegm. Allergic substances cool the body’s fire. It cools the body. Decreased body temperature can lead to many problems, including digestive problems. It is one of the major causes of rheumatism, bile and many disorders. Common symptoms of allergies include sneezing, persistent runny nose, shortness of breath, itching, vomiting, and bloating.

In Ayurveda

In Ayurveda, diet and lifestyle are said to be the cure for allergies. Ayurvedic prescriptions include eating a snack, drinking plenty of water, and eating watery cucumbers, cucumbers, plantains and squash. Similarly, Ayurveda also recommends avoiding foods that are high in protein and difficult to digest. Ensure good testing as well. A good test is one that helps the body expel toxins and toxins.

Turmeric and gooseberry

Turmeric and gooseberry are anti-allergic substances. These can be included in the diet. They also strengthen the body’s immune system. Make it a habit to adapt to climatic foods. People with allergies should stay away from substances that cause it. It is best to stay away from dust, pollen, animal dander and hair dye chemicals.

Dust allergy

Dust allergy is a major problem that is affecting more and more people. For those who have it, it is better to add a teaspoon of triphala powder in hot water at night. Turmeric and honey can be mixed with lukewarm water. Ayurvedic treatments such as nausea, vomiting and nasal congestion can be very beneficial. Do these only as prescribed by your doctor. Some people experience itching when they are dusted. As a remedy, salt can be added to coconut oil and neem oil and applied on the skin.

Ginger and cinnamon

Ginger, cinnamon, pepper, cumin, turmeric, cumin and red chillies can be added to the diet. This is good. Eat foods that do not cause mucus. If you eat these foods, adding a little ghee while cooking or eating them will be very beneficial. It is best to drink ginger boiled water and ginger tea. Ginger also improves the immune system. Exercise, especially exercises like pranayama in yoga, can help the body fight off allergies.

Consulting Doctor Google

According to Wiktionary, Dr. Google is a term when the Internet is used to seek out medical advice. Most of the time when we are feeling under the weather, how often do we land up going through the Internet, trying to Google our symptoms rather than going to an actual doctor?

More often this self-diagnosis through the Internet turns out to be scarier than it should be. For instance, your search for a simple headache you’ve been having, and Dr. Google will point you towards several scary diagnoses like a tumor, aneurysm, or a brain bleed. Simple fatigue can be self-diagnosed as underlying cancer. Self-diagnosing your symptoms using Google can sometimes mask a potentially dangerous disease. So, apart from the inaccurate diagnosis given by several medical websites on the internet, what is worse is the risk of mistreating a potentially dangerous disease.

There is an actual term “Cyberchondria” which refers to a person’s anxiety about their health that is created or exacerbated by using the internet to search for medical information. You just look for any symptom online and it is definitely linked with some form of tumor or cancer, and then psychology comes in play and it can make you feel sicker than you are, which feeds your anxiety.

One thing that we should realize is that Internet is a free space where anyone can post anything, there is no credibility of most of the content being posted so even if you think that it’s just a simple rash and you can get medication through Dr. Google think twice because a real doctor goes through rigorous years of study and only then they are qualified enough to examine you.

The bottom line is that you can not replace a professional medical help with Google search, by doing so you are just putting yourself at risk.