Rhythma Kaul

Rhythma Kaul works as an assistant editor at Hindustan Times. She covers health and related topics, including ministry of health and family welfare, government of India.

Articles by Rhythma Kaul

Maiden Pharma had licence to export medicines, says Centre

WHO has a Prequalification of Medicines Programme (PQP) to ensure medicines supplied by procurement agencies meet acceptable standards of quality, safety and efficacy. Many countries use WHO prequalification as a criterion to directly import drugs.

Since the manufacturing unit is in Sonepat, Haryana, the licence was issued by the local regulator there. (PTI)
Since the manufacturing unit is in Sonepat, Haryana, the licence was issued by the local regulator there. (PTI)
Updated on Oct 07, 2022 02:09 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Lens on 4 cough syrups after WHO flags deaths

India’s drugs regulator has launched an investigation into reports of contamination of cough syrups made by an Indian firm that led to the deaths of 66 children in The Gambia, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday, with inspections being carried out at manufacturing units and other company premises in the country.

Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited factory in Sonepat district (PTI)
Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited factory in Sonepat district (PTI)
Published on Oct 06, 2022 11:17 PM IST
By, New Delhi

Registration mandatory for sale, distribution of medical devices: Centre

“Any person who intends to sell, stock, exhibit or offer for sale or distribute a medical device including in vitro diagnostic medical device, shall make an application in Form MD-41 to the State Licensing Authority for grant of registration certificate to sell, stock, exhibit or offer for sale or distribution,” read the health ministry notification regarding Medical Devices (fifth amendment) Rules 2022.

The Centre has made it mandatory to have a registration certificate for the sale and distribution of medical devices. (Bloomberg)
The Centre has made it mandatory to have a registration certificate for the sale and distribution of medical devices. (Bloomberg)
Updated on Oct 05, 2022 02:40 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Efforts speed up to design new top science honour

The ministry of home affairs is in the process of transforming government awards and decorations regarding which home secretary, Ajay Kumar Bhalla, held a meeting on September 16.

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah with Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and Delhi Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora during his visit to the Delhi Police headquarters to review the security arrangements for the G20 Summit, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022. (PTI Photo)(PTI08_30_2022_000082B) (PTI)
New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah with Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and Delhi Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora during his visit to the Delhi Police headquarters to review the security arrangements for the G20 Summit, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022. (PTI Photo)(PTI08_30_2022_000082B) (PTI)
Updated on Oct 04, 2022 02:09 AM IST

There are areas which are isolated and children there need our help: Dr Batra

Dr Batra said, “the fact that this is very impactful work, in the sense that we have really been able to prevent a 100,000 children from going blind, that impact is what has helped us get the recognition.”

Dr Radhika Batra co-founded Every Infant Matters, a non-profit working to improve nutritional delivery to disadvantaged groups. (HT Photo)
Dr Radhika Batra co-founded Every Infant Matters, a non-profit working to improve nutritional delivery to disadvantaged groups. (HT Photo)
Updated on Oct 03, 2022 12:00 PM IST

Free Covid booster drive helped improve 3rd dose coverage

Data analysed by HT shows that even though more than 84% of all adults in the country are currently eligible for booster shots, less than a quarter have so far opted for the third shot – highlighting the challenge that still lies ahead in terms of booster coverage.

The 75-day nationwide window for free Covid-19 booster doses for all adults in India ended on Friday. (ANI)
The 75-day nationwide window for free Covid-19 booster doses for all adults in India ended on Friday. (ANI)
Updated on Oct 01, 2022 12:32 AM IST
ByRhythma Kaul and Abhishek Jha, New Delhi

DCGI panel recommends ban on 14 cocktail drugs

The drugs that have been recommended for banning include several codeine-based cough syrups such as Dr Reddy’s Dialex DC, Mankind’s TedyKoff, Codistar, Abbott’s Tossex, and Glenmark’s Ascoril C.

The apex advisory board of the drugs controller general of India (DCGI) has recommended banning 14 of the 19 cocktail drugs (Agencies/Representative use)
The apex advisory board of the drugs controller general of India (DCGI) has recommended banning 14 of the 19 cocktail drugs (Agencies/Representative use)
Updated on Oct 01, 2022 12:39 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Supreme Court ruling will help promote safe abortions, say medical experts

The Supreme Court’s ruling that unmarried women are also entitled to seek termination of 24 weeks of pregnancy arising out of a consensual relationship is a “progressive” judgment and will help promote safe abortion practices, medical practitioners and women rights activists said on Thursday.

In a significant ruling on Thursday, the Supreme Court declared that even an unmarried woman can undergo abortion up to 24 weeks, like married women, under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. (ANI)
In a significant ruling on Thursday, the Supreme Court declared that even an unmarried woman can undergo abortion up to 24 weeks, like married women, under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. (ANI)
Updated on Sep 30, 2022 12:13 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Centre to soon declare winners of country’s highest science award

The Centre is likely to announce country’s highest science award, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (SSB) Prize for Science and Technology 2022, by this weekend or early next, said people familiar with the matter, adding that the government was also considering instituting its own Nobel Prize like award — Vigyan Ratna — for scientists from all science disciplines

This year, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is celebrating eight decades of its foundation day, falling on September 26. (ANI)
This year, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is celebrating eight decades of its foundation day, falling on September 26. (ANI)
Published on Sep 27, 2022 11:56 PM IST
By, New Delhi

Centre set to revamp Aarogya Setu, CoWIN

Aarogya Setu was launched as a contact-tracing app for Covid-19. It has been relaunched as a health and wellness application. CoWIN has been extensively used to facilitate Covid-19 immunisation and will now be used for India’s universal immunisation programme.

Govt to repurpose Aarogya Setu & CoWIN platforms to manage larger public health initiatives
Govt to repurpose Aarogya Setu & CoWIN platforms to manage larger public health initiatives
Updated on Sep 26, 2022 06:09 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Dr M Srinivas, appointed AIIMS Delhi director for 5 years, is pediatric surgeon

In his last stint at AIIMS Delhi, Dr M Srinivas was a professor in its department of pediatric surgery. He shifted to ESIC Hospital and Medical College in Hyderabad in 2016.

AIIMS director Randeep Guleria’s initial term of five years ended in March this year. He was on an extension (HT File Photo)
AIIMS director Randeep Guleria’s initial term of five years ended in March this year. He was on an extension (HT File Photo)
Updated on Sep 23, 2022 05:25 PM IST

Govt forms committee to review marketing practices of pharma companies

“This panel will recommend to Mansukh Mandviya, the minister of both health and family welfare and chemicals and fertilizers, how all the codes, rules, and regulations pertaining to pharma malpractices can be harmonized as these are under different heads currently,” said a senior central government official aware of the matter, requesting anonymity.

The Centre has formed a high-level committee to review marketing practices of pharmaceutical companies in the country. (Shutterstock)
The Centre has formed a high-level committee to review marketing practices of pharmaceutical companies in the country. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Sep 22, 2022 02:19 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

India one among 10 high prevalence type1 diabetes country, says Lancet study

The Lancet study said an estimated 8.4 million people were living with type 1 diabetes in 2021 and the number is set to double by 2040.

The ten countries with the highest estimated T1D prevalence--USA, India, Brazil, China, Germany, UK, Russia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Spain-- account for 60% of the global T1D cases. (Representative Image)
The ten countries with the highest estimated T1D prevalence--USA, India, Brazil, China, Germany, UK, Russia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Spain-- account for 60% of the global T1D cases. (Representative Image)
Updated on Sep 21, 2022 09:14 PM IST

Govt to set up escrow account for payments under AB-PMJAY

The Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) AB-PMJAY is a centrally sponsored scheme providing ₹5 lakh as insurance cover for hospitalisation to poor and vulnerable families.

An escrow account is where funds are held in trust while two or more parties complete a transaction.(HT file photo)
An escrow account is where funds are held in trust while two or more parties complete a transaction.(HT file photo)
Updated on Sep 21, 2022 07:08 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Free third Covid vaccine window nears end, many yet to get booster

As of Sunday night, there has so far been no announcement regarding a possible extension of the 75-day window to administer precaution doses free of cost to all aged 18 and above.

Patna: A healthcare worker administers a dose of Covid-19 preventive vaccine to a student, at a vaccination camp in Patna Women’s College, Monday, Aug. 1, 2022. (PTI Photo) (PTI08_01_2022_000129B) (PTI)
Patna: A healthcare worker administers a dose of Covid-19 preventive vaccine to a student, at a vaccination camp in Patna Women’s College, Monday, Aug. 1, 2022. (PTI Photo) (PTI08_01_2022_000129B) (PTI)
Updated on Sep 19, 2022 11:31 AM IST
By, , New Delhi

15-day blood donation camp kicks off; 100k participate on first day

Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya was among the 100,506 people who donated blood, and created a world record, on Saturday as he kicked off a 15-day nationwide voluntary blood donation drive on the occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday

**EDS: HANDOUT PHOTO MADE AVAILABLE FROM PIB** New Delhi: Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya donates blood at a blood donation camp in Safdarjung Hospital, as a part of 'Raktdaan Amrit Mahotsav', in New Delhi on Sept. 17, 2022. (PTI Photo)(PTI09_17_2022_000076B) (PTI)
**EDS: HANDOUT PHOTO MADE AVAILABLE FROM PIB** New Delhi: Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya donates blood at a blood donation camp in Safdarjung Hospital, as a part of 'Raktdaan Amrit Mahotsav', in New Delhi on Sept. 17, 2022. (PTI Photo)(PTI09_17_2022_000076B) (PTI)
Published on Sep 17, 2022 11:39 PM IST

Covid: WHO advises against use of two antibody drugs

The drugs - sotrovimab and casirivimab-imdevimab - are likely to be ineffective against currently circulating variants such as Omicron, the World Health Organization said.

Representative Image
Representative Image
Published on Sep 16, 2022 05:00 AM IST

WHO highlights omissions in report criticising UN health body’s Covid response

The Lancet Commission blamed the UN health body for not declaring Covid-19 a public health emergency and recognising the airborne spread of the virus on time

WHO detailed its actions to help member countries deal with the pandemic. (AFP)
WHO detailed its actions to help member countries deal with the pandemic. (AFP)
Published on Sep 15, 2022 10:52 AM IST

Anti-cancer drugs among 34 added to essentials list

The Union health ministry released the NLEM 2022 list with 34 additions, including the cancer drugs Bendamustine Hydrochloride, HCI Trihydrate, Lenalidomide and Leuprolide Acetate, taking the number of medicines on the list to 384 across 27 categories.

Four major anti-cancer drugs have been added to the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) updated on Tuesday. (Shutterstock)
Four major anti-cancer drugs have been added to the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) updated on Tuesday. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Sep 14, 2022 04:55 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Mega blood donation drive to celebrate PM Modi’s birthday

The voluntary blood donation drive will go on till October 1, which is the national voluntary blood donation day.

September 17, last year, saw nearly 25 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered across the country— a single-day record that has not been matched yet. (PTI)
September 17, last year, saw nearly 25 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered across the country— a single-day record that has not been matched yet. (PTI)
Updated on Sep 13, 2022 05:10 AM IST

India’s total health expediture dips, some markers up

Out of pocket expenditure on health, which pushes lakhs of people below poverty line each year, declined by 16 percentage points, from 64.2% to 48.2% between 2013-14 and 2018-19.

New Delhi, Aug 23 (ANI): An inside view of the Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre that will be dedicated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the nation at Mullanpur in New Chandigarh on August 24th. The Hospital has been built by the Central Government at a cost of over Rs. 660 Crore. (ANI Photo) (ANI)
New Delhi, Aug 23 (ANI): An inside view of the Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre that will be dedicated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the nation at Mullanpur in New Chandigarh on August 24th. The Hospital has been built by the Central Government at a cost of over Rs. 660 Crore. (ANI Photo) (ANI)
Updated on Sep 13, 2022 05:06 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Govt to open NCDC in each state for effective outbreak surveillance

At present, there are eight functional branches of NCDC and the Centre is planning to establish 22 more branches.

Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya on September 7 laid the foundation stone for six new branches, which are going to be fully functional in next two-three years. (Amit Sharma)
Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya on September 7 laid the foundation stone for six new branches, which are going to be fully functional in next two-three years. (Amit Sharma)
Updated on Sep 12, 2022 12:33 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Study points to waning efficacy of antibiotics used in ICU patients

The efficacy of Imipenem – a wide spectrum antibiotic – in treating intestinal disease causing E coli bacteria dropped steadily from 86% in 2016 to 64% in 2021, and, in case of pneumonia-causing Klebsiella pneumoniae, dropped from 65% to 43% in the same period.

HT Image
HT Image
Published on Sep 10, 2022 12:19 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Ayushman Bharat hospitals may soon treat CGHS beneficiaries

CGHS largely caters to the Central government employees, both serving and retired. There are close to 4.1 million beneficiaries registered under the scheme, and 2,000 hospitals and diagnostic centres are empanelled across the country.

CGHS and AB-PMJAY are two separate health insurance schemes run by the government.
CGHS and AB-PMJAY are two separate health insurance schemes run by the government.
Updated on Sep 10, 2022 03:11 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Prez Murmu to launch initiative to let people adopt TB patients, sponsor treatment

Ni-kshay Mitra launch: India has set the end of 2025 as the target to eliminate TB from the country, five years ahead of the global goal of 2030.

Ni-kshay Mitra plan: A patient suffering from Tuberculosis disease takes medicine (HT FIle Photo/Kalpak Pathak)
Ni-kshay Mitra plan: A patient suffering from Tuberculosis disease takes medicine (HT FIle Photo/Kalpak Pathak)
Published on Sep 08, 2022 10:16 PM IST

Vitamin D supplement doesn’t reduce Covid risk: Study

The findings are based on two large clinical trials that showed boosting Vitamin D levels in adults during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic was not associated with protection against respiratory tract infections or Covid-19.

“Vaccination is still the most effective way to protect people from Covid-19...” said Peter Bergman, professor, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, in an editorial. (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)
“Vaccination is still the most effective way to protect people from Covid-19...” said Peter Bergman, professor, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, in an editorial. (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)
Published on Sep 08, 2022 02:20 AM IST
By, New Delhi

India’s 1st nasal dose given emergency nod

The drugs regulator approved India’s first nasal coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday, paving the way for access to a new method of inoculation that scientists believe could significantly boost protection from Covid-19 for the population, helping stop not just disease but also new infections to a great extent.

 (AP)
(AP)
Published on Sep 06, 2022 11:36 PM IST
By, New Delhi

Bharat Biotech’s needle-free intranasal Covid vaccine approved for emergency use

Bharat Biotech’s new needle-free intranasal Covid vaccine can be delivered through the nasal route, making it a safer and more effective option

In September, 2020, Bharat Biotech inked a licensing agreement with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis for a novel chimp- adenovirus, single dose intranasal vaccine for Covid-19. (HT Photo)
In September, 2020, Bharat Biotech inked a licensing agreement with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis for a novel chimp- adenovirus, single dose intranasal vaccine for Covid-19. (HT Photo)
Updated on Sep 06, 2022 05:31 PM IST

Emergency purchase of monkeypox vaccine on hold

The central government has decided against emergency procurement of the monkeypox vaccine for now as the number of reported cases in the country has not seen a rise, according to people familiar with the matter.

A passenger undergoes monkeypox screening at Chennai International Airport. (ANI)
A passenger undergoes monkeypox screening at Chennai International Airport. (ANI)
Updated on Sep 05, 2022 04:42 AM IST

Centre looks to expand Ayushman Bharat reach by reducing premium

The scheme, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018, is currently applicable to poor and vulnerable groups and provides an insurance cover of ₹5 lakh to 107.4 million families.

The premium of the health insurance currently stands at around <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>1,200 - <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>1,300 and borne by the central and state governments in a 60:40 ratio, officials said. (Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)
The premium of the health insurance currently stands at around 1,200 - 1,300 and borne by the central and state governments in a 60:40 ratio, officials said. (Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Sep 03, 2022 05:57 AM IST
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