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Sri Lanka eliminates measles
New Delhi, 9 July 2019: The World Health Organization has announced that Sri Lanka has eliminated measles, interrupting transmission of the indigenous virus that causes the killer childhood disease.
“Sri Lanka’s achievement comes at a time when globally measles cases are increasing. The country’s success demonstrates its commitment, and the determination of its health workforce and parents to protect children against measles,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director WHO South-East Asia, congratulating the island nation.
An independent verification committee reviewed in detail all data and ongoing efforts for measles elimination in the island nation and concluded that Sri Lanka has stopped transmission of indigenous measles virus. The country reported its last case of measles caused by an indigenous virus in May 2016. Sporadic cases, reported in the last three years have all been importations that were quickly detected, investigated and rapidly responded to. The country has a strong surveillance system and all vaccine-preventable diseases are an integral part of the communicable disease surveillance system. Measles is a notifiable disease in the country... (SEAR/PR/1712)
Budget Highlights: Income-tax (Part 4)
21. Benefit of first proviso of Section 201(1) has been extended in case of failure to deduct tax at source from sum paid to non-residents. Thus, a deductor shall not be deemed to be an assesse in default even if he fails to deduct tax from sum paid to a non-resident, if such non-resident discloses such income in his return of income and pays tax due on such income and a certificate from a Chartered Accountant is furnished to this effect.
22. Deduction of up to 10% of salary is allowed under Section 80CCD in respect of contribution made by an employer to NPS. The limit has been proposed to be increased to 14% of salary in case of Central Governments employees.
23. Section 12AA has been amended to provide that at the time of granting of registration to a trust or institution the Pr. CIT or CIT shall also satisfy himself that the applicant trust or institution also satisfy the requirements of any other law which is material for the purpose of achieving its objects.
24. The Pr. CIT or CIT has been empowered to cancel the registration under Section 12AA, if after granting registration it has been noticed that the trust or institution has violated requirements of any other law which was material for the purpose of achieving its objects.
25. Section 115QA which requires payment tax on distributed income in case of buy-back of shares has proposed to be extended to listed companies as well.
26. ITR filing is mandatory, if total income of assesse before claiming the benefit of capital gain exemption under sections 54, 54B, 54EC, 54F, 54G, 54GA and 54GB, doesnt exceeds the maximum amount not chargeable to tax.
Healthcare News Monitor
Centre sets up committee on central legislation against violence on doctors
The Asian Age- ANI
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has welcomed the Centres move to set up a committee to discuss the Central Act for doctors security. The IMA in a letter on Wednesday said: "IMA has won the first battle in our struggle against violence. Union Government has constituted an inter-ministerial committee to go into the Central legislation against the assault on Doctors and Hospitals. Congratulations to the entire medical fraternity." The Department of Health and Family Welfare said it will hold the first meeting of the committee formed to examine the pros and cons of bringing out a central legislation today. The move comes just weeks after the protesting resident doctors of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) demanded a tough central law against those who engage in violence with medical practitioners. The doctors went on strike after one of their colleagues was allegedly attacked by the family of a patient who died on June 10. Indian Medical Association (IMA) had also urged for the enactment of a protection law for the doctors and amendment in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
ISIC Becomes first hospital outside US to successfully perform complex spinal surgeries through advanced spine robotics system
The Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) of New Delhi has become the first hospital outside the US to add a highly advanced robotics system to its spine surgery capabilities. A team of spine surgeons led by Dr. H S Chhabra has performed more than five surgeries using the latest advanced robotics system. This week, the doctors performed a procedure with the help of the advanced robotic system on a 33-year old woman with post-spinal tuberculosis kyphotic deformity of back with severe weakness in legs. Robotics is a recent advancement in spine surgery, a specialized approach to a complex procedure that allows planning a surgery and facilitates highly accurate and predictable execution of the plan. The latest robotic system reduces implant inaccuracies, revision surgeries, radiation exposure, length of stay and infection, and combines advanced software, robotic technology, navigation and instrumentation along with artificial intelligence and sophisticated 3D analytics. "Surgeries conducted through advanced robotics reduce implant inaccuracies, revision surgeries, radiation exposure, length of stay and infection. Such high improvements in so many parameters simultaneously can drive significant clinical efficiency and reduce the burden on healthcare system in the medium to long run," Dr. H S Chhabra, Medical Director Cum Chief of Spine Services, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC), New Delhi said.
‘Pharma firms should step up regulatory compliance’
The Hindu Business Line- Maitri Porecha
Indian pharma players were pulled up fewer times by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) in 2018 than in the past years, research agency India Ratings said in an analysis. While up to 21.2 per cent of all players inspected in 2014 had received Official Action Indicated (OAI) letter from the USFDA, this dipped to 3.6 per cent in 2018. In 2019, however, a couple of pharma players received the Official Action Indicated notice and inspections were conducted by the USFDA at manufacturing facilities located in India and overseas. The report from India Ratings also warned that US-focussed Indian pharmaceutical players will be required to step up regulatory compliance in the upcoming decade as they invest in complex generics, and specialised and innovative plays. In May this year, Aurobindo Pharmaceuticals, in a filing with the stock exchanges, declared that it had received OAI notices from the USFDA for three of its manufacturing plants. Lupin’s Pithampur facility and Jubiliant Generics Limited’s Nanjangud and Roorkee facilities had also received OAI notices that directed the companies to step up compliance in their manufacturing facilities. According to analysts, warning letters that are issued after lack of action on the OAI notice significantly impacted the credit profiles of Indian pharma companies. For example, Wockhardt’s business and financial profile has been significantly impacted due to escalating regulatory deviations across multiple facilities since 2014. “The company’s revenue and operating profitability was impacted by lack of approvals and its manufacturing facilities continue to be under regulatory restrictions till date,” stated the report.
WHO updates list of essential medicines: Lung cancer treatment may get cheaper
The Health Site- Juhi Kumari
Lung cancer claims more lives than any other cancers globally every year. According to GLOBSCAN, in 2018, this disease claimed the lives of 63,475 people in India alone. Amidst increasing air pollution and smokers in India, a figure like this was pretty much expected, but unfortunate. And, the worst part is that lung cancer is fast turning into an epidemic in India. This is what the Indian Council of Medical Research states. It also says that the condition is worsening due to delayed diagnosis and poor access to affordable healthcare. Treatment is often prolonged and expensive. Hence, it is welcome news that WHO has now updated their list of cost-effective essential drugs and tests for many ailments, including lung cancer. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was recently quoted as saying, “The inclusion in this list of some of the newest and most advanced cancer drugs is a strong statement that everyone deserves access to these life-saving medicines, not just those who can afford them.”
IPC to train workforce on standard setting of phytopharmaceuticals as per new regulations
Pharmabiz- Shardul Nautiyal
In order to train workforce on standard setting of phytopharmaceuticals as per new regulations, Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC), Ghaziabad would be conducting five-day residential course between August 5 and August 9, 2019 on phytopharmaceuticals and herbal drugs monograph drafting, verification and validation. This will also create skilled and competent workforce in the field of herbal drugs and phytopharmaceuticals monograph development. Through this course, standard setting for phytopharmaceuticals would be done in a more practical manner as new phytopharmaceutical regulation have now come into being, according to a senior official associated with the development. The new phytopharmaceutical regulation permits the development of drug using advanced techniques of solvent extraction, fractionation, potentiating steps, modern formulation development etc. After approval from Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), the marketing status of the new phytopharmaceutical drug would be like that of a new chemical entity-based drug. The new regulation for phytopharmaceutical is in line with regulations in USA, China and other countries involving scientific evaluation and data generation. This new regulation is expected to promote innovations and development of new drugs from botanicals in a scientific way and would help in the acceptance of the use of herbal products by modern medical profession. It would encourage research in phytopharmaceutical drug development for academia, researchers, and industry.