Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a collection of symptoms and infections resulting from the specific damage to the immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in humans, and similar viruses in other species (SIV, FIV, etc.). The late stage of the condition leaves individuals susceptible to opportunistic infections and tumors. Although treatments for AIDS and HIV exist to decelerate the virus' progression, there is currently no known cure. HIV, et al., are transmitted through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid containing HIV, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid, and breast milk. This transmission can come in the form of anal, vaginal or oral sex, blood transfusion, contaminated hypodermic needles, exchange between mother and baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding, or other exposure to one of the above bodily fluids.
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I recently submitted a couple of articles to the national daily newspaper The Hindu. They accepted one of my articles and published it in their supplement called the Education Plus(Hyderabad edition) which comes out every Monday and Tuesday. It felt great to be recognised and I thought I'd share it with everyone.
Here's the link to my article online http://www.hindu.com/edu/2008/06/16/stories/2008061651210400.htm
and here's the original article: “Learning a foreign language has a surprising number of advantages for people of any age group".
What can a pharmacist do?
Pharmacist can help to ensure that unused medications are returned to the pharmacy and dispose them appropriately through hazardous waste companies. By educating patients on proper disposal, pharmacists contribute significantly to preventing medications from entering the water supply.
By discouraging inappropriate use and overuse of prescription, nonprescription and alternative medications, pharmacists can help decrease the amount of medication that is purchased and eventually discarded, or unnecessarily ingested and excreted into our environment. For example, pharmacists may counsel patients to select single-entity cough and cold preparations that target their specific symptom(s), as opposed to multi-ingredient product that contain ingredients they do not need. With new prescription, it makes sense to limit initial prescription size and determine patient tolerability, thereby minimizing drug wastage.
A regulatory process for nutraceuticals would fill a void not only for the research-based pharmaceutical industry, but for growing segments of the food industry as well. Food science departments of major universities are increasingly becoming authorities on the health-related components of everyday foods. This activity could be further enhanced through block grants from the National Institutes of Health for the clinical testing of nutraceuticals. However, a mechanism for their development into commercial products with specific health claims is missing.
Other than creating a new commission for nutraceuticals, developing a regulatory process for nutraceuticals within the existing framework of the FDA is another viable option.
The health food industry is a consumer business largely based on traditional home remedies. The marketing and sales forces are the mass media, which publicized and dramatized it. This has largely been possible because the FDA does not regulate scientists, or the media, or physicians and consumers. It only regulates industry, which has neither conducted the research nor in most cases made the claims.
Therefore, there is no regulatory system for the nutraceutical market-in spite of the fact that it has entered the mainstream of science, medicine and the consumer marketplace.
The obvious solution is to establish an updated regulatory process which serves the public interest and matches today's scientific and medical reality. Instead of discouraging private research investment for the development of innovative products and responsible claims, a new system must be established which encourages a vital research-oriented industry for the development and marketing of nutraceuticals.
The main problem voiced by Mr Ramesh Kumar, Commissioner of the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is that nutraceuticals are only food supplements, then why are they to be taken in small doses only. After all, food does not require any particular dosage right?
According to FDA regulations in Maharashtra, companies making therapeutic or curative claims on nutraceutical products were not allowed to sell in Maharashtra from July, unless they had a drug licence.
This initiative was taken up when Ranbaxy was asked to get a drug license for its product Revital, a nutritional supplement for mental and physical health.the FDA considered it a ruse developed by drug companies circumvent the rules and avoid excise by selling their drugs as food supplements.
The Central Government is constantly in turmoil and continues to lack clarity on whether to bring nutraceuticals as part of the constantly-under-review Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
Supplements are products that provide essential nutrients and as the name implies, are to be supplemented with something else. Their main name is to prevent deficiencies in case of an unbalanced diet or to treat or prevent diseases.
Foods are to be ingested for nutritive, therapeutic and sometimes, aromatic value.
Drugs, however, are used to treat, cure, mitigate, or prevent a disease and/or are intended to affect the structure of the body.
So what are they then? Drugs or food?
This has been one of the most controversial issues in the FDA history. Manufacturers tout the supplement/food angle but the FDA has to look at the drug angle. Many people call glucosamine and digitalis foods and not drugs and this is accepted to be correct around the world.
On one hand, many say that nutraceuticals do not require regulations because they have unreliable benefits (work for some, not for others) and that they are as "safe" as foods. Foods are generally regarded as safe by the government.
According to two recent reports, generic drugs are gaining an increasingly strong share of drug expenditures in Canada. According to figures released in May by the CIHI (Canadian Institute for Health Information) Canadians spent a total of $26.9 billion on drugs in 2007, with prescription drugs representing 84% of that figure.
CIHI report showed that the annual growth rate for prescribed drug spending in 2007 (7.5%) was lower than the 10.5 % average annual grwoth rate between 1997 and 2006.
Generic drugs currently comprise 49% of all prescriptons in Canada. According to IMS Health, the average cost of a brand name prescription was $64.19 in 2007, compared to an average cost of $26.07 for a generic prescription.
Ontario patients could soon get drug prescriptions from their local pharmacists as the governing Liberals look to join other provinces and expand the prescribing powers of pharmacist, nurses and other non-physicians.
I have completed my third year examinations recently. It was a tough period as the question paper was capricious and my prearation was not enough to face it extremely well.
The subjects included in the third year were:
(1) Cosmetic technology
(2) Pharmaceutical insrumental analysis
(3) Medicianl chemistrty-1
(6) Physical Pharmacy
(7) Environmental sciences
Among the above subjects i wrote cology and cognosy , physical pharmacy very well .Environmental sciences was attempted well by all my classmates as it was an easy way to score good marks.
The cology paper was a bit lenghty although i mainly focussed on writiing the M.O.A. of drugs and their pharmacological actions.
The Medicinal chemistry paper was dead easy and cosmetic paper was fairly easy and i was a bit troubled to recollect all the ingredients.......