Antibiotic Resistance and YOU!

Antibiotic Resistance and YOU!We are glad to announce a FREE public awareness event in Bangalore, on 19th March, 2016, on the growing problem of Antibiotic Resistance, with a special focus on the scenario in India.

As part of our I’M Wise Campaign, The Aashritha Foundation, in association with the MCB Society of IISc, would be screening an International Documentary film, Resistance, followed by a Panel Discussion. The event is sponsored by Rotary Club of Platinum City, Bangalore.

The event is meant for anyone who has ever Or never used an Antibiotic!

The event would provide a platform where experts involved in antibiotics discovery, diagnosis of antibiotic resistant infectious diseases, prescription and consumption; will come together to discuss with the common public about why Antibiotic Resistance affects all of us. It aims to give common public a glimpse into the ground realities of Antibiotic Resistance problem existing globally and in India, and how we can collectively move together, to use these mainstay of modern medical practice, wisely and rationally.

Please note: the event is FREE, but seating is limited. Kindly use the registration link to register for the same. Registration can be done at venue too on 19th March, 2016, from 3:30 pm – 4 pm, provided there are seats available.

More details about the event can be found here.

Story of Pen!

We are very glad to share link of our first in-house produced animation video, ‘Story of Pen’, promoting wise use of Antibiotics amongst common public.

In India, the problem of Antibiotic resistance is compounded with various factors like easy availability of prescriptions drugs without a prescription, misuse by end consumers who do not have an awareness of whether to use it or not, how it can cause harm, what constitutes a rational/wise of Antibiotics etc.

This video, which is in the form of a story – from the perspective of an Antibiotic, giving it human like form and feelings – describes what has happened because of misuse and how we humans can still act and save the powers of the life-saving drugs. It’s time to move ahead of blame games on how Antibiotics were misused, to how we can use them wisely now!

If you like the video, please practice & share the learnings with others and share the video with your friends and family members.

Important Information – Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The information provided on our website (http://www.aashrithafoundation.org) is not to be viewed as a substitute for a consultation with a medical or health professional. The information is meant to enhance communication with your doctor/health care practitioner, and not replace it. Use of any of the information is at your own risk. The Aashritha Foundation, cannot be liable for any loss, injury, or other damage related to your use of the information provided here. You should not make any changes in your medicines without first consulting a physician. You should always consult a physician or other professional for treatment and advice.

Errors and Omissions: We follow a rigorous editorial process to ensure that the information provided here on our website, http://www.aashrithafoundation.org, is accurate and describes generally accepted clinical practices (worldwide). If we find, or are alerted to, an error, we will correct it as quickly as possible. However, The Aashritha Foundation, and its authors/editors/publishers cannot be responsible for medical errors or omissions, or any consequences from the use of the information on our website.

Medicines – What does research tell us about them? Why use them rationally?

For a lay person who has no scientific background, we have heard many a times,

“We do not understand the research”,
“Why should we try to understand them, our doctor will give it to us”,
“We trust that since it has come in the market, it must be for our good”.

But for a person from the science background, a researcher or a scientist who is busy working in his/her area, trying to discover more, alas it is like:

“I trust the science behind them“,
“I read a few papers about the medicine and they do work”.

Is it too much of blind trust?

Yes indeed! Having reviewed some of the trusted medicines, which we have heard about so much, it was difficult to digest how we are sometimes fooled by the greed of some others!

To start with, we have tried to gather information and write what research has told us about a very popular medicine, which each one of us must have heard and some would have even used, Tamiflu.

Is <Tamiflu> effective? Do we actually need it for flu?

Tamiflu (Oseltamivir), an antiviral medication for H1N1 influenza, was launched by Roche, a pharmaceutical company in 1999 after it was approved by US FDA. The approval came after a number of randomized controlled trials (majority funded by Roche) stated the efficacy of the medicine for seasonal flu. The H1N1 influenza scare that spread across the world in 2009, led the major regulatory bodies such as WHO, CDC and EMA to recommend its use for treatment. This led governments across the globe to stock Tamiflu in preparedness against H1N1 pandemic in 2009.1Maximizing the value of drug stockpiles for pandemic influenza. Emergency Infection Dis. 2009 octv15(10):1686-1687. India too stockpiled 30 million doses of it, placed orders for 900,000 doses from Ranbaxy Laboratories, gave a contract order of 740,000 doses to Strides Arcolab, procured 9 million doses from Hetero Drugs, the only Indian company that had a manufacturing agreement with Roche.2Gupta, YK., Padhy, BM, (2010) Issues in pharmacotherapy of 2009 H1N1 influenza infection. 56, 4, 321-327.

All this work, did help one of the biggest pharmaceutical giant become even bigger, but did it actually help anyone else is a big question. The abnormal neurological behavior in children and a few deaths reported in Japan led Japanese to do an independent analysis of the drug.3Half of children taking Tamiflu have side-effects 4Gupta, Y K, Meenu, M., Mohan, P. The Tamiflu fiasco and lessons learnt (2015) Indian Journal of Pharmacology. 47, 11-16The results of the analysis led them to insert a package warning against giving the medicine to children and overall restricted usage.5FDA Safety Changes: Lexiva, Tamiflu, Pexeva – Medscape Education 6Gupta, Y K, Meenu, M., Mohan, P. The Tamiflu fiasco and lessons learnt (2015) Indian Journal of Pharmacology. 47, 11-16Similar results were also reported from children in UK who had been given the medicine as a prophylactic treatment.7Half of children taking Tamiflu have side-effects 8Kitching A, Roche A, Balasegaram S, Heathcock R, Maguire H. Oseltamivir adherence and side effects among children in three London schools affected by influenza A (H1N1) v, May 2009 – an internet-based cross-sectional survey.(2009) Euro Surveill 14:19287 9Gupta, Y K, Meenu, M., Mohan, P. The Tamiflu fiasco and lessons learnt (2015) Indian Journal of Pharmacology. 47, 11-16 Following these studies, the Cochrane collaboration did a complete analysis of the clinical trial data (majority of which was not made accessible earlier to the regulatory authorities) and published the data analysis on April10, 2014.10Jefferson T, Jones MA, Doshi P, Del Mar CB, Hama R, Thompson MJ, Spencer EA, Onakpoya IJ, Mahtani KR, Nunan D, Howick J, Heneghan CJ. Neuraminidase inhibitors for preventing and treating influenza in adults and children. (2014) Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Issue 4

The Cochrane study showed:

  1. Tamiflu had small, non‐specific effects on reducing the time to alleviation of flu symptoms in adults (by a couple of hours) but not in asthmatic children.
  2. There was no clarity with respect to reduction of influenza complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis and otitis media or hospitalizations.
  3. However, the increased the risk of adverse effects were certain. These included nausea, vomiting, psychiatric effects and renal events in adults and vomiting in children.

So may be REDUCE THE SYMPTOMS BY A DAY OR SO AND SUFFER FROM THE SIDE EFFECTS!!

Thus, the authors of the Cochrane study after 5 years of Tamiflu use across the globe recommended that doctors should critically consider the benefit and possible harms before prescribing Tamiflu. The findings of the Cochrane study also provided a reason to question the stockpiling of the medicine, it’s inclusion in the WHO essential drug lists and it’s use in clinical practice as an anti influenza drug.

Finally in 2017, WHO decided to downgrade Tamiflu.11WHO downgrades status of oseltamivir (2017) BMJ 358:j3266

Although the effectiveness of the drug is being debated across the globe, different pharmaceutical companies started making the generic forms of the drug (Antiflu/Fluvir/Starflyer/Natflu/Fluhalt) in India. Also, the medicine was removed from the schedule X drugs list in 2017 and so all pharmacies are now allowed to stock and sell it in India.12Swine flu drugs available at all chemists after India eases restrictions on sale

But the question remains, sell it for what? And that too at a price ranging from Rs470-520/10 capsules?!!?

The question is, did the regulatory authority of India do any analysis independently before introducing it into the market? Is there any post marketing surveillance Indian data available for the drug? While the world is still debating about its effectiveness and the side effects, is there any data supporting its usage in Indian population?

USE MEDICINES RATIONALLY!

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Presenting a teaser of the upcoming short film, Love Thy Microbes, which is a public education initiative of ours, in taking science to community, and educating the masses about importance of microbes in our daily life.

We wish to thank all those unknown people on the streets of Namma Bengaluru, who volunteered to be interviewed and helped us create this fun teaser 🙂 If you see some recognisable faces, do share it with them, before they forget about us ?

HEALth in your hands: a health series on prevention is better than cure

We are glad to share that The Aashritha Foundation along with Sahakarnagar Women’s Welfare Association, shall soon be commencing a health series on ‘prevention is better than cure’, called HEALth in your hands (HEAL stands for Healthy Eating Active Living).
 
The main objective of the series is to enable people lead a healthy life by taking responsibility of health in their own hands. The events organized as a part of the series would enable you to interact, be a part of live demonstrations, discuss and exchange ideas with people who are working to promote health.
 
Watch out I’M Wise’s Facebook page for more details about it!