Friday May 25, 2018

Mystery Solved: Iconoclast Musician Prince died of accidental drug overdose, says Medical Test report

The death of Prince Rogers Nelson due to a drug called fentanyl alerts drug associations in the U.S

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Prince Rogers Nelson. Image source Wikimedia commons
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The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office in Ramsey, MN in US found the mystery behind the great musician’s death. Entertainer and Iconoclast in the true sense of the term, Prince’s death was due to drug overdose. The medical examiner said Prince Rogers Nelson, 57, self-administered a deadly dose of the synthetic opiate fentanyl by accident, a report released publicly on Thursday, June 2 said.

National Institute on Drug Abuse states, fentanyl, a schedule II drug, is typically used to “treat patients with severe pain.” As Minnesota Public Radio reports: “Fentanyl is one of the most dangerous opioid painkillers, said Dr. Charles Reznikoff, an addiction medicine specialist at Hennepin County Medical Center. “‘Fentanyl is what I call the Ebola of opioids. The reason I call it that is Fentanyl kills you quickly, very quickly, as opposed to many of the other opioids that take a long time and are less apt to kill you in overdose,’ Reznikoff said.”

Powder drugs. Image source Wikimedia Commons
Powder drugs. Image source Wikimedia Commons

“Seizures of fentanyl have increased significantly in the past couple of years. It’s one part of the country’s opioid epidemic,” says spokesman Lawrence Payne of Drug Enforcement Administration. Two-thirds of deaths in the U.S involved some kind of drug (opioids) as stated by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Payne also said that the Drug Enforcement Administration is seeing more and more fentanyl both alone and mixed with heroin.

A bottle of Heroin. Image source Wikimedia Commons
A bottle of Heroin. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

“From what we know, most heroin users are not aware of what they are consuming is in fact Fentanyl rather than heroin,” Payne told Carrie Johnson of NPR. “This can be attributed to a majority of the opiate-related overdoses we are seeing. The users are not accustomed to consuming such a powerful dose and most think it is the same dose of heroin rather than Fentanyl, which is 25 time to 50 times stronger.”

Prince’s overdose made him the most high profile victim of the opioid epidemic. Fentanyl is a prescription as well as a street drug, nobody knows how he (Prince) acquired this drug or why he was taking it.

Representatives from Prince’s office had contacted Dr Howard Kornfeld, nation authority on addiction, seeking help for the singer. The doctor immediately sent his son, but ultimately it was too late. Mr Andrew Kornfeld was among those who found Prince dead in the elevator at his Paisley Park compound.

by Vrushali Mahajan, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: Vrushali Mahajan 

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Drugs Controller of India to Introduce New Vaccine Specific Regulations

Reddy underlined the need to communicate to media the facts about the deaths due to clinical trials. He told the gathering that media gives a wrong projection about the number of deaths.

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The Drugs Controller General of India plans to come out with vaccine specific regulatory policy and a manual for regulatory requirements for commercialization of new drug and on how to conduct clinical trials in India, it was announced on Saturday.
Different vaccines for children. Pixabay

The Drugs Controller General of India plans to come out with vaccine specific regulatory policy and a manual for regulatory requirements for commercialization of new drug and on how to conduct clinical trials in India, it was announced on Saturday.

S. Eswara Reddy, Drugs Controller General of India, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation said that since pneumococcal is one of the major priority vaccines, they would first come out a policy to facilitate introducing indigenously-produced vaccine.

Speaking at a symposium on ‘research and development of vaccines: issues, challenges and opportunities’ organized by PC2 Scientific Services, a strategic and technical consulting company in association with Federation of Asian Biotech Associations (FABA) and CR RAO AIMSCS at University of Hyderabad, he listed out the steps being taken by his organisation to promote innovation through transparent system and regulatory changes.

Reddy said they were also in process of making new regulations for conducting clinical trials and new drugs. “We will fix time lines. 30 days will be maximum timeline for giving response to their applications. If response is not received within 30 days, the application will be deemed approved,” he said.

He also proposed to conduct symposiums across India and invite research institutions to know their regulatory challenges. The regulator will reach out to research and innovation centres by disseminating information about the regulatory requirements for commercialization of their products.

Reddy underlined the need to communicate to media the facts about the deaths due to clinical trials. He told the gathering that media gives a wrong projection about the number of deaths.

He said media reports that during last 7-8 years, 25,000 patients died during clinical trials in India while the fact is that only 5 percent of these deaths are actually due to clinical trials. “For example, during clinical trials related to cancer, patients who are already in terminal stage die. The death of such patients is not due to clinical trials,” he said.

The Drugs Controller General of India plans to come out with vaccine specific regulatory policy and a manual for regulatory requirements for commercialization of new drug and on how to conduct clinical trials in India, it was announced on Saturday.
Drugs controller to announce new vaccines regulation. Pixabay

With the drug developers and researchers raising concern about the restrictions on import of animal models, the Drug Controller General hoped that the Union Environment and Forests Ministry would look into the issue.

He said the import of animals was restricted by the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) guidelines and suggested that the innovators, industry and regulator make a joint representation on the issue.

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Some participants spoke how the researchers were forced to go abroad because of non-availability of such animals in the country for studies and the restrictions on the import. Reddy said the issues was relating in the country losing its credibility and the forex reserves.

Manuel Elkin Patarroyo, the malaria vaccine scientist from Columbia, was the keynote speaker. The symposium was attended by delegates from scientific research & academic and industry both from India and abroad.

Dr. Dasari V Ravi Kumar, Director of PC2 Scientific Services, pointed out that Hyderabad is producing about 33 per cent of global vaccines dosages and 35 per cent to the pharmaceutical production in the country.(IANS)