Sunday June 16, 2019

Essential medicines to cost less as govt caps prices of new drugs

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New Delhi: Come Diwali, the treatment of diabetes, hypertension and pneumonia will cost less in the country with the Drug price regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) capping the prices of as many as 18 new brands of essential medicines.

According to reports, most of these new brands of medicines are expected to be launched in the market within a fortnight.

Fixing the maximum retail price of these medicines at the average of MRP of all medicines available in that particular therapeutic segment with at least 1% market share, the regulator has brought these medicines under price regulation using paragraph 5 of the Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO), 2013.

Leading pharmaceutical companies like Cipla, Merck, Franco Indian, Alembic Pharma and Unichem etc. will be affected due to the price fixation by the NPPA.

Failing to comply with the prescribed retail price will have consequences for the erring firms.

“The concerned manufacturer/ marketing company shall be liable to deposit the overcharged amount along with the interest thereon under the provisions of the DPCO, 2013”, the NPPA said, adding that “if a company was planning to discontinue manufacture or sale of any of these medicines, then it would have to seek permission from the regulator six months in advance.”

The NPPA further said, “If any medicine was priced lower than the ceiling fixed by the regulator, then companies selling such drugs should maintain the existing or lower retail price.”

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Smoking May Increase Risk of Developing Hypertension, Warn Researchers

The results were published in the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology

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FILE - New findings show that smoking causes devastating genetic damage, or mutations, in the cells of various organs in the body. VOA

Smoking may increase the risk of developing hypertension by impairing the body’s blood pressure autocorrect system, warn researchers.

“The human body has a buffering system that continuously monitors and maintains a healthy blood pressure. If blood pressure drops, a response called muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) is triggered to bring blood pressure back up to normal levels,” said Lawrence Sinoway from Penn State University in the US.

An additional system — called the baroreflex — helps correct if blood pressure gets too high, he added.

According to Sinoway, the study found that after a burst of MSNA, the rise in blood pressure in a chronic smoker was about twice as great as in a non-smoker, pushing blood pressure to unhealthy levels. The researchers suspect that impairment of baroreflex may be the culprit.

“When the sympathetic nervous system fires, like with MSNA, your blood pressure rises and then a series of things happen to buffer that increase, to try to attenuate it,” Sinoway said.

“We think that in smokers, that buffering — the baroreflex — is impaired.”

Other than chronic diseases, lifestyle habits like smoking causes cancer too. Pixabay
Other than chronic diseases, lifestyle habits like smoking causes cancer too. Pixabay

The results suggest that this impairment may be connected to hypertension, said Jian Cui, Associate Professor at Penn State College of Medicine.

“The greater rise in blood pressure in response to MSNA may contribute to a higher resting blood pressure level in smokers without hypertension,” Cui said.

“It’s possible that this higher response to MSNA could also contribute to the eventual development of hypertension,” Cui added.

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The researchers said that while previous research has found a link between chronic smokers and higher levels of MSNA bursts, less was known about what happened to blood pressure after these bursts.

For the study, the researchers examined 60 participants — 18 smokers and 42 non-smokers. None of the participants had hypertension.

The results were published in the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. (IANS)