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INDIAN (H)

MTaI seeks reconstitution of NLEM panel for fair review

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New Delhi: Medical device-makers body MTaI today called for reconstitution of the committee for revision of list of essential medicines and include representatives of other relevant sections of the healthcare ecosystem.

Medical Technology Association of India (MTaI) said the current National List of Essential Medicine (NLEM) Committee is invested in the decision it took last year, and a review would be fair if it is done by a broader panel.

The NLEM committee is responsible for revision of list of medicines to be under price control.

In a meeting with National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), MTaI also suggested the drug price regulator to consider creating sub-categories for stents “to ensure that significant technological innovation stays commercially rewardable”.

“Continuing in the spirit of inclusiveness, we request the ministry of health & family welfare to reconstitute the NLEM committee to enable inclusion of representatives from other relevant sections of the healthcare ecosystem,” (MTaI) Chairman & Director General Pavan Choudary said in a statement.

He further said a broader constitution will give a real chance to the committee to review its previous decision on price capping.

“The committee, in its current form, is invested in the decision it took last year and the review would be fair if it is done by a broader panel,” Choudary added.

On the meeting with NPPA, Choudary said, “NPPA should consider creating sub-categories for stents to ensure that significant technological innovation stays commercially rewardable.”

In February last year, NPPA had notified ceiling price of coronary stents at Rs 7,260 for bare metal stent and Rs 29,600 for drug-eluting ones. The corresponding average MRPs before the notification stood at Rs 45,100 and Rs 1.21 lakh, respectively.

Following this, stent makers have been asking the government to apply differential pricing for drug-eluting stents by classifying them on the basis of technology used.



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ASIAN (H)

Nation’s current economy strongest in three years: Najib

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The strengthening economy today is the result of government policies.

Prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the ringgit had been on the upswing, coupled with high economic growth and the stock market at its strongest in three years.

“Inflation is low and joblessness is well under control at four per cent, proving that government policies are bearing fruit. This has created a conducive business environment, with high consumer confidence,” he said.

Najib, who is also Umno president, was speaking to reporters after chairing the party’s supreme council meeting at Menara Dato’ Onn.

He said the ability of the government in running the country was in contrast with the opposition which was in disarray.

Najib said the people have no confidence that the opposition can bring political stability.

“For sure, if we were to compare ourselves to the opposition with what has been happening these past few days, it shows that they are weak internally.

“This certainly does not build confidence in the people on their ability to ensure a stable political environment for the country, nor how they can carry and uphold an economic agenda that would bring a huge transformation for the nation,” he said.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/nation-apos-current-economy-strongest-140154485.html

 

Category: Malaysia


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MIDDLE EASTERN (H)

Amazon announces major French tax deal, agrees to report all income locally

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INDIAN (H)

MR imaging clarifies ambiguous mammography results

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MR imaging clarifies ambiguous mammography resultsVienna, 05 February 2018 : A study of around 300 volunteers, conducted in Austria by MedUni Vienna in collaboration with Diagnostic Graz, convincingly shows that Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is the best choice for clarifying ambiguous mammography results. “MRI clearly shows whether findings are benign or malignant,” explains lead author Claudio Spick from the Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy at MedUni Vienna. MRI scans are therefore an ideal, non-invasive and equivalent alternative to painful breast biopsies. Moreover, in around 5% of cases they identify previously undetected malignant tumours.

The benefit to patients in Austria: in Austria, women can have MRI scans free of charge – the costs are covered by the Health Insurance fund – if the results of their mammograms or ultrasound breast scans are unclear. In this respect, Austria is an international trendsetter. Says Spick: “This is not offered in Germany, for example.” In the rest of the world, MRI screening is provided almost exclusively within the framework of screening programmes for early detection of breast cancer in high-risk patients (for example, those with a family history of breast cancer).

In contrast, Austrian patients who receive abnormal but non-definitive results from a mammogram or ultrasound breast scan (BI-RADS 0) conducted as part of a breast screening programme, can have a breast MRI scan to provide further clarification.

“The recent study confirms the high degree of accuracy of MR imaging. Not only was MRI able to definitively characterise ambiguous findings as either benign or malignant but, on top of this, we were able to detect additional, previously undiscovered, malignant tumours. The data therefore demonstrate that breast MR imaging is an accurate problem-solving tool,” says Claudio Spick from the Medical University of Vienna. The only alternatives would be invasive biopsies or regular checkups, which would involve waiting times, complications and uncertainty.

The scientists hope that MRI scanning will help them achieve the same diagnostic certainty as exists in the diagnosis of prostate cancer.



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ASIAN (H)

Malaysia rejects proposal by Philippine government committee to claim Sabah as ’13th federal state’

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Malaysia on Wednesday (January 31) rejected a proposal by a member of a Filipino government committee to amend the Philippine Constitution to include Sabah as the “13th federal state” of the Philippines.

“Malaysia is aware of remarks made by Aquilino Pimentel Jr, a member of the Philippines’ Consultative Committee, which appeared in the media on the claim on Sabah recently,” said Malaysian Foreign minister Anifah Aman in a press statement.

“The government of Malaysia reiterates its position that Malaysia does not recognise and will not entertain any claims by any party on Sabah. Sabah is recognised by the United Nations and the international community as part of Malaysia since the formation of the Federation on 16 September 1963,” said Anifah.

“Therefore, statements such as these will only expose the ignorance of history and international law of those who make them, as well as potentially harming the excellent bilateral relations which Malaysia and the Philippines currently enjoy,” Anifah added.

Aquilino Pimentel Jr is a member of a 25-member government consultative committee tasked with reviewing and proposing amendments to the Philippines 1987 Constitution. A key proposal is switching to a system of federal government from its current model where power is centralised.

“There should be a way that is acceptable under international laws to assert our claim to Sabah,” Pimentel, a former senator, told local ABS-CBN News network in an interview on Tuesday.

Pimentel’s proposal for the new federal government includes 12 federal statesNorthern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Western Visayas, Minparom, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, Bangsamoro, Metro Manila.

He reportedly said the government can add Sabah as the 13th federal state later on.

In 2013, some 200 men from the southern Philippines landed in Sabah and battled Malaysian security forces for more than a month in a bid to stake an ancient claim of the territory for the Sultanate of Sulu.

Scores died in the fighting. At least two Malaysian police officers were beheaded by the invaders.

Sabah on Borneo island joined Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore to form Malaysia in 1963.

SABAH CLAIM EXPECTED TO RESONATE WITH SOME COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Law professor and executive director of Philippines’ Institute for Autonomy & Governance Benedicto Bacani told Channel NewsAsia that Pimentel’s proposal will resonate with some committee members who come from the separatist Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

“Pimentel’s claim is a strong voice which will resonate with some other committee members, especially those from MNLF.

“With MNLF active in the move to shift to federalism, Sabah is back on the radar screen,” said Bacani.

Some ex-MNLF members had taken part in the 2013 invasion and the group’s leader, Nur Misuari, has always been a strong advocate of “reclaiming” Sabah.

Asked whether such voices will lead to claims by the Philippines’ government for Sabah, Bacani said: “I don’t think so.”

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/malaysia-rejects-proposal-by-philippine-government-committee-to-9913514

 

Category: Malaysia


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MIDDLE EASTERN (H)

Winter Weight Gain Explained: Lack of Sunlight Boosts Obesity

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Most Americans gain at least a few pounds over the winter months, and new research suggests it’s not just because of holiday-related overeating.

A recently released study finds that winter weight gain is real, and that it might not be a lack of gym time or unhealthy diets to blame. The culprit: Lack of sunshine.

Researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, report in a study published in the journal, Scientific Reports, that lower levels of sunlight exposure around the holidays — and the months that follow — affect levels of body fat.

Subcutaneous fat cells — better known as white fat cells, which are found right underneath the skin — regulate metabolism, as they store calories to be burned. But the new research indicated that lack of sunlight can throw the system out of whack, leading to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Peter Light, who led the team of researchers, said the scientists were originally attempting to genetically engineer white fat cells to produce insulin when exposed to light — a possible treatment for those with Type I diabetes.

But as sunlight shone on those white fat cells, they began to shrink — an unexpected discovery that led the research team to dig a little deeper to understand why and whether the reverse — lower levels of sunlight could promote fat growth — might be true.

“When the sun’s blue light wavelengths — the light we can see with our own eye — penetrates our skin and reach the fat cells just beneath, liquid droplets reduce in size and are released out of the cell,” Light explains.

“In other words, our cells don’t store as much fat [when exposed to sunlight].”

The take-home message of these findings: New weight-loss strategies and light-based therapies may be effective in the treatment of diabetes or obesity.

Light explains that “if you flip our findings around, the insufficient sunlight exposure we get eight months of the year living in a northern climate may be promoting fat storage and contribute to the typical weight gain some of us have over winter.”

The results of this study suggest that it is possible, and likely, that the light that regulates a person’s circadian rhythms that govern sleep might also have the same impact on the fat cells under their skin. That means getting sun exposure, and making sure to follow regular wake-sleep patterns, may help you lose weight and keep it off.

Light notes more research needs to be done and that many variables remain unknown.

“For example, we don’t yet know the intensity and duration of light necessary for this pathway to be activated,” he explains.

While it’s not certain how exactly to use light treatments, there are still some steps you can take to combat winter weight gain:

  • Make sure to get a little sunlight every day, even in colder winter months.
  • If that’s not a possibility, try taking supplements of vitamin D, known as the “sunshine vitamin.”
  • Be sure to practice healthy sleep hygiene to keep your circadian rhythms in check. Experts advise aiming to get at least seven hours of sleep each night, going to bed and waking the same time every day, avoiding food and drinks (particularly those containing alcohol or caffeine) in the hours before bedtime, and don’t use smart phones, computers, iPads right before bedtime because they emit “blue light,” which interferes with the production of the natural sleep hormone melatonin.

With obesity rising generation after generation, the findings of this study might spark the debate about what healthy sunlight exposure is and should be. It might be that with the right amount of sunlight, future generations can combat obesity.

The implication of his findings “[hold] many fascinating clues for our team and others around the world to explore,” Light says.


© 2018 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.



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INDIAN (H)

Homoeo docs' support Bill that could allow them to practice allopathy

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Homoeo docs' support Bill that could allow them to practice allopathy

New Delhi: Homoeopathic doctors‘ bodies today came together at the Ramlila Maidan here in support of a Bill that the might allow doctors pursuing Indian systems of medicine to practice allopathy after clearing a bridge course.

The National Medical Commission Bill, 2017, which seeks to replace the existing apex medical education regulator Medical Council of India (MCI) with a new body, was moved by the government recently.

One of its recommendations include that specific educational modules or programmes be introduced to bridge various systems of medicine and promote medical pluralism, with the approval of bodies concerned.

Dr Sunil Takalkar, core committee member of the All India Homoeopathic Doctors’ Association said that they were holding a two-day rally to support the Bill as it will enhance the quality of services being rendered to patients.

This Bill would also provide special facilities to the people living in rural and remote areas, where allopathic medicines are not available, he said.



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ASIAN (H)

Malaysia is top pick for retiring Chinese expats

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More Chinese expatriates are making Malaysia their retirement destination, drawn by investment opportunities primarily in the real estate sector.

According to the South China Morning Post, over 1,000 Chinese nationals signed up in 2016 for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, which grants a 10-year retirement visa for applicants with a minimum income of RM10,000 (S$3,365) a month.

According to Andy Davison, the owner of Borneo Vision, a company that advises and assists foreigners with MM2H services, most Chinese applicants became interested in the programme after China invested heavily into several major developments in Malaysia.

“Many [Chinese] have applied for the visa but they haven’t actually relocated here,” he was quoted as saying.

“And then some of the Malaysian property developers have gone to China and offered to arrange visas for people if they buy properties. So a lot of it is linked to property investment,” Davidson added.

KL-based realtor Nick Ho said the lower ringgit could also be regarded as a factor for this scenario.

“A lot of them (Chinese) actually purchase units (properties) in cash,” he was quoted as saying.

He said most of his clients were particularly interested in Forest City and Country Gardens projects in Johor as they were greatly promoted in China.

Citing China’s largest property website Juwai.com the news report said KL, Johor and Melaka were among the locations that were most sought after by Chinese investors.

Ho said some also saw Malaysia as a “safety net” to go to should the situation in their country “gets worse”.

Not only the Chinese, the news report pointed that expatriates from other nations have also made Malaysia their home to retire because of the cheaper living cost and high-end infrastructure.

Ms Jackie Siddle, a former teacher in Hong Kong, told the English news portal that she chose to make Melaka her home after knowing of the lower cost of living here.

“My husband and I visited Malaysia every year for 30 years and we knew Malaysia extremely well. We looked at Penang, which was very expensive.

“We looked at the east coast, but it was all so far away from everything,” she was quoted as saying.

“We just drove around, and finally, we just kept coming back to Melaka. And Melaka it was. It’s all very affordable because I’m on a pension.” Ms Siddle added.

Bangladeshi Abdus Samad, who lives in Kampar, regarded Malaysia’s transport system as “world-class” and “supreme highways”.

The report also pointed that despite the rising medical cost in the country, it was still relatively cheaper compared with other developed nations.

A knee replacement surgery in Malaysia, it said, costs about $4,000 as opposed to $45,000 in the US.

Similarly, the report said, a hip replacement here cost approximately $5,200 compared to $39,000 in the US.

http://www.todayonline.com/world/malaysia-top-pick-retiring-chinese-expats

 

Category: Malaysia


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