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Category Archives: Press Corner

Ten threats to global health in 2019

Ten threats to global health in 2019

The world is facing multiple health challenges. These range from outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and diphtheria, increasing reports of drug-resistant pathogens, growing rates of obesity and physical inactivity to the  health impacts of environmental pollution and climate change and multiple humanitarian crises.

To address these and other threats, 2019 sees the start of the World Health Organization’s new 5-year strategic plan – the 13th General Programme of Work. This plan focuses on a triple billion target:  ensuring 1 billion more people benefit from access to universal health coverage, 1 billion more people are protected from health emergencies and 1 billion more people enjoy better health and well-being. Reaching this goal will require addressing the threats to health from a variety of angles.

Here are 10 of the many issues that will demand attention from WHO and health partners in 2019.

Air pollution and climate change

Air pollution

Nine out of ten people breathe polluted air every day. In 2019, air pollution is considered by WHO as the greatest environmental risk to health. Microscopic pollutants in the air can penetrate respiratory and circulatory systems, damaging the lungs, heart and brain, killing 7 million people prematurely every year from diseases such as cancer, stroke, heart and lung disease. Around 90% of these deaths are in low- and middle-income countries, with high volumes of emissions from industry, transport and agriculture, as well as dirty cookstoves and fuels in homes.

The primary cause of air pollution (burning fossil fuels) is also a major contributor to climate change, which impacts people’s health in different ways. Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.

In October 2018, WHO held its first ever Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health in Geneva. Countries and organizations made more than 70 commitments to improve air quality. This year, the United Nations Climate Summit in September will aim to strengthen climate action and ambition worldwide. Even if all the commitments made by countries for the Paris Agreement are achieved, the world is still on a course to warm by more than 3°C this century.

Noncommunicable diseases

Obesity

Noncommunicable diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, are collectively responsible for over 70% of all deaths worldwide, or 41 million people. This includes 15 million people dying prematurely, aged between 30 and 69.

Over 85% of these premature deaths are in low- and middle-income countries. The rise of these diseases has been driven by five major risk factors: tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets and air pollution. These risk factors also exacerbate mental health issues, that may originate from an early age: half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, but most cases go undetected and untreated – suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-19 year-olds.

Among many things, this year WHO will work with governments to help them meet the global target of reducing physical inactivity by 15% by 2030 – through such actions as implementing the ACTIVE policy toolkit to help get more people being active every day.

Global influenza pandemic

Influenza

The world will face another influenza pandemic – the only thing we don’t know is when it will hit and how severe it will be. Global defences are only as effective as the weakest link in any country’s health emergency preparedness and response system.

WHO is constantly monitoring the circulation of influenza viruses to detect potential pandemic strains: 153 institutions in 114 countries are involved in global surveillance and response.

Every year, WHO recommends which strains should be included in the flu vaccine to protect people from seasonal flu. In the event that a new flu strain develops pandemic potential, WHO has set up a unique partnership with all the major players to ensure effective and equitable access to diagnostics, vaccines and antivirals (treatments), especially in developing countries.

Fragile and vulnerable settings

Emergency

More than 1.6 billion people (22% of the global population) live in places where protracted crises (through a combination of challenges such as drought, famine, conflict, and population displacement) and weak health services leave them without access to basic care.

Fragile settings exist in almost all regions of the world, and these are where half of the key targets in the sustainable development goals, including on child and maternal health, remains unmet.

WHO will continue to work in these countries to strengthen health systems so that they are better prepared to detect and respond to outbreaks, as well as able to deliver high quality health services, including immunization.

Antimicrobial resistance

AMR

The development of antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials are some of modern medicine’s greatest successes. Now, time with these drugs is running out. Antimicrobial resistance – the ability of bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi to resist these medicines – threatens to send us back to a time when we were unable to easily treat infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhoea, and salmonellosis. The inability to prevent infections could seriously compromise surgery and procedures such as chemotherapy.

Resistance to tuberculosis drugs is a formidable obstacle to fighting a disease that causes around 10 million people to fall ill, and 1.6 million to die, every year. In 2017, around 600 000 cases of tuberculosis were resistant to rifampicin – the most effective first-line drug – and 82% of these people had multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

Drug resistance is driven by the overuse of antimicrobials in people, but also in animals, especially those used for food production, as well as in the environment. WHO is working with these sectors to implement a global action plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance by increasing awareness and knowledge, reducing infection, and encouraging prudent use of antimicrobials.

Ebola and other high-threat pathogens

ebola

In 2018, the Democratic Republic of the Congo saw two separate Ebola outbreaks, both of which spread to cities of more than 1 million people. One of the affected provinces  is also in an active conflict zone.

This shows that the context in which an epidemic of a high-threat pathogen like Ebola erupts is critical –  what happened in rural outbreaks in the past doesn’t always apply to densely populated urban areas or conflict-affected areas.

At a conference on Preparedness for Public Health Emergencies held last December, participants from the public health, animal health, transport and tourism sectors focussed on the growing challenges of tackling outbreaks and health emergencies in urban areas. They called for WHO and partners to designate 2019 as a “Year of action on preparedness for health emergencies”.

WHO’s R&D Blueprint identifies diseases and pathogens that have potential to cause a public health emergency but lack effective treatments and vaccines. This watchlist for priority research and development includes Ebola, several other haemorrhagic fevers, Zika, Nipah, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and disease X, which represents the need to prepare for an unknown pathogen that could cause a serious epidemic.

Weak primary health care

PHC

Primary health care is usually the first point of contact people have with their health care system, and ideally should provide comprehensive, affordable, community-based care throughout life.

Primary health care can meet the majority of a person’s health needs of the course of their life. Health systems with strong primary health care are needed to achieve universal health coverage.

Yet many countries do not have adequate primary health care facilities. This neglect may be a lack of resources in low- or middle-income countries, but possibly also a focus in the past few decades on single disease programmes. In October 2018, WHO co-hosted a major global conference in Astana, Kazakhstan at which all countries committed to renew the commitment to primary health care made in the Alma-Ata declaration in 1978.

In 2019, WHO will work with partners to revitalize and strengthen primary health care in countries, and follow up on specific commitments made by in the Astana Declaration.

Vaccine hesitancy

Child

Vaccine hesitancy – the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines – threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease – it currently prevents 2-3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved.

Measles, for example, has seen a 30% increase in cases globally. The reasons for this rise are complex, and not all of these cases are due to vaccine hesitancy. However, some countries that were close to eliminating the disease have seen a resurgence.

The reasons why people choose not to vaccinate are complex; a vaccines advisory group to WHO identified complacency, inconvenience in accessing vaccines, and lack of confidence are key reasons underlying hesitancy. Health workers, especially those in communities, remain the most trusted advisor and influencer of vaccination decisions, and they must be supported to provide trusted, credible information on vaccines.

In 2019, WHO will ramp up work to eliminate cervical cancer worldwide by increasing coverage of the HPV vaccine, among other interventions. 2019 may also be the year when transmission of wild poliovirus is stopped in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Last year, less than 30 cases were reported in both countries. WHO and partners are committed to supporting these countries to vaccinate every last child to eradicate this crippling disease for good.

Dengue

Dengue

Dengue, a mosquito-borne disease that causes flu-like symptoms and can be lethal and kill up to 20% of those with severe dengue, has been a growing threat for decades.

A high number of cases occur in the rainy seasons of countries such as Bangladesh and India. Now, its season in these countries is lengthening significantly (in 2018, Bangladesh saw the highest number of deaths in almost two decades), and the disease is spreading to less tropical and more temperate countries such as Nepal, that have not traditionally seen the disease.

An estimated 40% of the world is at risk of dengue fever, and there are around 390 million infections a year. WHO’s Dengue control strategy aims to reduce deaths by 50% by 2020.

HIV

HIV

The progress made against HIV has been enormous in terms of getting people tested, providing them with antiretrovirals (22 million are on treatment), and providing access to preventive measures such as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP, which is when people at risk of HIV take antiretrovirals to prevent infection).

However, the epidemic continues to rage with nearly a million people every year dying of HIV/AIDS. Since the beginning of the epidemic, more than 70 million people have acquired the infection, and about 35 million people have died. Today, around 37 million worldwide live with HIV. Reaching people like sex workers, people in prison, men who have sex with men, or transgender people is hugely challenging. Often these groups are excluded from health services. A group increasingly affected by HIV are young girls and women (aged 15–24), who are particularly at high risk and account for 1 in 4 HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa despite being only 10% of the population.

This year, WHO will work with countries to support the introduction of self-testing so that more people living with HIV know their status and can receive treatment (or preventive measures in the case of a negative test result). One activity will be to act on new guidance announced In December 2018, by WHO and the International Labour Organization to support companies and organizations to offer HIV self-tests in the workplace.

WHO/Rada Akbar

 

More than 90% of the world’s children breathe toxic air every day

More than 90% of the world’s children breathe toxic air every day

Every day around 93% of the world’s children under the age of 15 years (1.8 billion children) breathe air that is so polluted it puts their health and development at serious risk. Tragically, many of them die: WHO estimates that in 2016, 600,000 children died from acute lower respiratory infections caused by polluted air.

A new WHO report on Air pollution and child health: Prescribing clean air examines the heavy toll of both ambient (outside) and household air pollution on the health of the world’s children, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. The report is being launched on the eve of WHO’s first ever Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health. 

It reveals that when pregnant women are exposed to polluted air, they are more likely to give birth prematurely, and have small, low birth-weight children. Air pollution also impacts neurodevelopment and cognitive ability and can trigger asthma, and childhood cancer. Children who have been exposed to high levels of air pollution may be at greater risk for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease later in life.

“Polluted air is poisoning millions of children and ruining their lives,” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “This is inexcusable. Every child should be able to breathe clean air so they can grow and fulfil their full potential.”

One reason why children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of air pollution is that they breathe more rapidly than adults and so absorb more pollutants.  

They also live closer to the ground, where some pollutants reach peak concentrations – at a time when their brains and bodies are still developing.

Newborns and young children are also more susceptible to household air pollution in homes that regularly use polluting fuels and technologies for cooking, heating and lighting 

“Air Pollution is stunting our children’s brains, affecting their health in more ways than we suspected. But there are many straight-forward ways to reduce emissions of dangerous pollutants,” says Dr Maria Neira, Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health at WHO.

“WHO is supporting implementation of health-wise policy measures like accelerating the switch to clean cooking and heating fuels and technologies, promoting the use of cleaner transport, energy-efficient housing and urban planning. We are preparing the ground for low emission power generation, cleaner, safer industrial technologies and better municipal waste management, ” she added.

Key findings:

  • Air pollution affects neurodevelopment, leading to lower cognitive test outcomes, negatively affecting mental and motor development.
  • Air pollution is damaging children’s lung function, even at lower levels of exposures
  • Globally, 93% of the world’s children under 15 years of age are exposed to ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels above WHO air quality guidelines, which include the 630 million of children under 5 years of age, and 1.8 billion of children under 15 years
  • In low- and middle-income countries around the world, 98% of all children under 5 are exposed to PM2.5 levels above WHO air quality guidelines. In comparison, in high-income countries, 52% of children under 5 are exposed to levels above WHO air quality guidelines.
  • More than 40% of the world’s population – which includes 1 billion children under 15 –  is exposed to high levels of household air pollution from mainly cooking with polluting technologies and fuels.
  • About 600’000 deaths in children under 15 years of age were attributed to the joint effects of ambient and household air pollution in 2016.
  • Together, household air pollution from cooking and ambient (outside) air pollution cause more than 50% of acute lower respiratory infections in children under 5 years of age in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Air pollution is one of the leading threats to child health, accounting for almost 1 in 10 deaths in children under five years of age.

WHO’s First Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health, which opens in Geneva on Tuesday 30 October will provide the opportunity for world leaders; ministers of health, energy, and environment; mayors; heads of intergovernmental organizations; scientists and others to commit to act against this serious health threat, which shortens the lives of around 7 million people each year. Actions should include:

  • Action by the health sector to inform, educate, provide resources to health professionals, and engage in inter-sectoral policy making.
  • Implementation of policies to reduce air pollution: All countries should work towards  meeting WHO global air quality guidelines to enhance the health and safety of children. To achieve this, governments should adopt such measures as reducing the over-dependence on fossil fuels in the global energy mix, investing in improvements in energy efficiency and facilitating the uptake of renewable energy sources. Better waste management can reduce the amount of waste that is burned within communities and thereby reducing ‘community air pollution’. The exclusive use of clean technologies and fuels for household cooking, heating and lighting activities can drastically improve the air quality within homes and in the surrounding community.
  • Steps to minimize children’s exposure to polluted air: Schools and playgrounds should be located away from major sources of air pollution like busy roads, factories and power plants.

WHO

Sandoz Inc. Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of One Lot of Losartan Potassium and Hydrochlorothiazide Due to the Detection of Trace Amounts of NDEA (N-Nitrosodiethylamine) Impurity Found in the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API)

Sandoz Inc. Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of One Lot of Losartan Potassium and Hydrochlorothiazide Due to the Detection of Trace Amounts of NDEA (N-Nitrosodiethylamine) Impurity Found in the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API)

Sandoz Inc. is voluntarily recalling one lot of Losartan Potassium Hydrochlorothiazide Tablets, USP 100mg/25mg to the consumer level. This product is being recalled due to the trace amount of an impurity, N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) contained in the API Losartan, USP manufactured by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. Sandoz Inc. Losartan Potassium Hydrochlorothiazide product is manufactured by Lek Pharmaceuticals dd, Ljubljana, Slovenia. This impurity, which is a substance that occurs naturally in certain foods, drinking water, air pollution, and industrial processes, has been classified as a probable human carcinogen as per International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

To date, Sandoz Inc. has not received any reports of adverse events related to this lot.

Losartan Potassium Hydrochlorothiazide Tablets, USP are indicated for the treatment of hypertension. It may be used alone or in combination with other antihypertensive agents. The product can be identified as Losartan Potassium Hydrochlorothiazide, 100 mg/25 mg tablets in 1000-countplastic bottles, NDC 0781-5207-10, Lot number JB8912; Exp. Date 06/2020. This product was distributed nationwide to distributors. The affected product was not distributed prior to October 8, 2018.

Sandoz Inc. is notifying its distributors by letter via overnight mail and patients by this public notification. Distributors and retailers that have product which is being recalled should immediately stop distribution of the identified lot above and quarantine any quantities remaining in your control and return the recalled product to the identified Reverse Distributor.

Patients with questions regarding this recall can contact Sandoz Inc. at 1-800-525-8747 Monday-Friday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM (EST) or email usdrugsafety.operations@novartis.com. Patients should contact their pharmacist or physician who can advise them about an alternative treatment prior to returning their medication. Patients who are on Losartan Potassium Hydrochlorothiazide should continue taking their medication, as the risk of harm to a patient’s health may be higher if the treatment is stopped immediately without any alternative treatment. Patients should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using Losartan Potassium Hydrochlorothiazide.

Adverse reactions or quality problems associated with the use of this product may be reported to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either by phone, on line, by regular mail or by fax.

This recall is being made with the knowledge of the Food and Drug Administration.

Disclaimer 
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by words such as “potential,” “can,” “will,” “plan,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “look forward,” “believe,” “committed,” “investigational,” “pipeline,” “launch,” or similar terms, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential marketing approvals, new indications or labeling for the investigational or approved products described in this press release, or regarding potential future revenues from such products. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on our current beliefs and expectations regarding future events, and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that the investigational or approved products described in this press release will be submitted or approved for sale or for any additional indications or labeling in any market, or at any particular time. Nor can there be any guarantee that such products will be commercially successful in the future. In particular, our expectations regarding such products could be affected by, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including clinical trial results and additional analysis of existing clinical data; regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; global trends toward health care cost containment, including government, payor and general public pricing and reimbursement pressures; our ability to obtain or maintain proprietary intellectual property protection; the particular prescribing preferences of physicians and patients; general political and economic conditions; safety, quality or manufacturing issues; potential or actual data security and data privacy breaches, or disruptions of our information technology systems, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG’s current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Sandoz 
Sandoz is a global leader in generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars. As a division of the Novartis Group, our purpose is to discover new ways to improve and extend people’s lives. We contribute to society’s ability to support growing healthcare needs by pioneering novel approaches to help people around the world access high-quality medicine. Our portfolio of approximately 1000 molecules, covering all major therapeutic areas, accounted for 2017 sales of USD 10.1 billion. In 2017, our products reached more than 500 million patients. Sandoz is headquartered in Holzkirchen, in Germany’s Greater Munich area.

Source: FDA

Aurobindo Pharma Limited Issues Voluntary Recall of Irbesartan Drug Substance due to the Detection of Trace Amounts of NDEA (NNitrosodiethylamine) Impurity Found in the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API)

Aurobindo Pharma Limited Issues Voluntary Recall of Irbesartan Drug Substance due to the Detection of Trace Amounts of NDEA (NNitrosodiethylamine) Impurity Found in the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API)

Aurobindo Pharma Limited is voluntarily recalling 22 Batches of the drug substance Irbesartan due to the presence of an impurity, N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA). The impurity, which is a substance that occurs naturally in certain foods, drinking water, air pollution, and industrial processes, has been classified as a probable human carcinogen as per International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

These 22 batches of Irbesartan drug substance were supplied to ScieGen Pharmaceuticals Inc., U.S. for the manufacturing of finished Irbesartan drug product (see attached annexure).

Aurobindo Pharma Limited has notified ScieGen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of the recall and is arranging for the return of all available Irbesartan drug substance. Aurobindo Pharma Limited has further advised Sciegen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to contact its distributors and retailers to return Irbesartan drug product and finished Irbesartan tablets that has been identified by Aurobindo Pharma Limited.

Patients should contact their pharmacist or physician who can advise them about an alternative treatment prior to returning their medication. Patients who are on Irbesartan should continue taking their medication, as the risk of harm to a patient’s health may be higher if the treatment is stopped immediately without any alternative treatment. Patients should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using Irbesartan.

Adverse reactions or quality problems associated with the use of this product may be reported to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either by phone, on line, by regular mail or by fax.

Annexure -I
Irbesartan batches Supplied to US Customers

S.No Manufacturing Batch Number Dispatch Batch Number Date of Manufacture Date of Distribution Retest/Expiry Date Dispatch Qty Name and Location of the Customer NDEA Impurity Result ug/g
1 1601100782 1601101589 Jan-2016 Jan-2016 Dec-2016 90.29 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.23
2 1601100783 1601101590 Jan-2016 3l-Jan-2016 Dec-2016 59.61 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.28
3 1701111861 1701113404 l3-Sep-2017 7-0ct-2017 12-Sep-2020 88.48 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.47
4 1701112170 1701113405 l8-Sep-2017 7-0ct-2017 l7-Sep-2020 90.92 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.15
5 1701112501 1701113406 20-Sep-2017 7-0ct-2017 l9-Sep-2020 93.02 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 1.61
6 1701112056 1701113407 l3-Sep-2017 7-0ct-2017 l2-Sep-2020 88.82 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.53
7 1701112558 1701114283 2-0ct-2017 25-0ct-2017 l-Oct-2020 63.76 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.6
8 1701112558 1701114284 2-0ct-2017 25-0ct-2017 l-Oct-2020 27.06 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.6
9 1701I12559 1701114285 3-0ct-2017 25-0ct-2017 2-0ct-2020 91.82 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.45
10 1701112589 1701114286 6-0ct-2017 25-0ct-2017 5-0ct-2020 90.32 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.28
11 1701113300 1701114289 7-0ct-2017 25-0ct-2017 6-0ct-2020 91.32 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.32
12 1701113301 1701114291 8-0ct-2017 25-0ct-2017 7-0ct-2020 90.12 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.32
13 1701113302 1701114708 l7-0ct-2017 30-0ct-2017 l6-0ct-2020 80.82 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.85
14 1701113312 1701114709 20-0ct-2017 30-0ct-2017 19 Oct 2020 86.82 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.88
15 1701115460 1701117039 23-Nov-2017 2l-Dec-2017 22-Nov-2020 16.72 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.31
16 1701115974 1701117040 29-Nov-2017 2l-Dec-2017 28-Nov-2020 91.12 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.26
17 1701115460 1701117041 23-Nov-2017 2l-Dec-2017 22-Nov-2020 89.79 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.31
18 1701115738 1701117042 24-Nov-2017 21-Dec-2017 23-Nov-2020 90.42 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.38
19 1701115739 1701117043 25-Nov-2017 2l-Dec-2017 24-Nov-2020 89.79 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.44
20 1701115740 1701117044 26-Nov-2017 2l-Dec-2017 25-Nov-2020 93.42 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.34
21 1701115741 1701117045 27-Nov-2017 21-Dec-2017 26-Nov-2020 93.72 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.39
22 1701115742 1701117046 28-Nov-2017 21-Dec-2017 27-Nov-2020 93.62 Kg Sciegen Pharmaceuticals INC, USA 0.31

Remark: For Dispatch batch no. 1701114283 & 1701114284, Mother Batch is common 170111255 8

For Dispatch batch no. 1701117039 & 1701117041, Mother Batch is common 1701115460

Total No. of Mother Batches: 20

Total No. of dispatch Batches: 22.

Source: FDA

How climate change will affect your health

How climate change will affect your health

A new report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns of dire consequences if governments don’t make “rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to stem global warming. But the planet isn’t the only thing at risk as temperatures rise; your health might be in danger, too.

Here are six ways that climate change might affect you, whether it’s insect-borne disease or Type 2 diabetes.

An increase in disease-carrying mosquitoes and ticks

Hot and humid climates provide a perfect breeding ground for critters, and experts say that a warming world might put us at greater risk for vector-borne diseases, which are those transmitted by ticks, mosquitoes or other organisms.
Tick- and mosquito-borne diseases more than triple, since 2004, in the US
In a 2017 report, the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health warned that “mosquitoes that carry diseases like West Nile virus and dengue fever thrive in conditions that are becoming more common, and there is concern that malaria could reemerge in the United States.”

Environmental changes affect not just the distribution of insects like mosquitoes but also how quickly viruses replicate within them and how long the bugs live. All of that might have contributed to recent Zika virus outbreaks, according to the CDC.

More than 2,400 pregnant women in the United States have tested positive for Zika since 2015, and the United States has seen a rise in Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other vector-borne diseases. Only 27,388 such cases were reported in 2004, but that number jumped to 96,075 in 2016, according to a CDC report.

Contaminated water sources and dangerous bacterial infections

Extreme weather and rainfall have contributed to the spread of bacterial infections through contaminated water, especially in summer. Warmer temperatures will only make those storms worse.
Where climate change is threatening the health of Americans
Dr. Mona Sarfaty, director of the program on climate and health at George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication, said that “when increased rainfall leads to flooding, there can be a mixing of stormwater and sewage that leads to bacterial contamination in the water.”
That contamination can affect crops too, contributing to foodborne diseases. “Heavy downpours and flooding can spread fecal bacteria and viruses into fields where food is growing,” said a report from the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health.
“Warmer ocean water also makes a difference,” Sarfaty said. “Along the coast, there are cases of bacterial contamination in shellfish in the warmer months that make those waters more likely to cause infection when people swim there, especially if they have open cuts in their skin.”

An increase in mental health issues

Even a modest rise in temperatures is associated with an increase in mental health issues, according to  a study published this year that surveyed nearly 2 million US residents. The research, in the journal PNAS, looked at individual cities and found that warming of just 1 degree over five years was linked to a 2% increase in mental health issues.
Climate change study ties warming temperatures to rising suicide risk
Using a different approach, the study also found that an increase in average monthly temperatures to over 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit), up from an average of 25 to 30, was correlated with a 0.5% increase in mental health issues.
That might seem like a small change, but Nick Obradovich, the study’s lead author and a scientist at MIT’s Media Lab, noted that those results, if consistent across the country, “would produce approximately 2 million additional individuals reporting mental health difficulties.”
Those challenges can turn deadly. A study published this year in the journal Nature Climate Change found that a rise of 1 degree Celsius in monthly temperatures correlated with a 0.68% increase in the United States suicide rate. Using that data, researchers estimate that climate change could be linked to over 14,000 suicides by 2050.
Though more research is needed to determine what exactly causes that increase in suicide, the study’s lead author said economic factors or biological changes might be to blame.
“As economic conditions worsen, that might also worsen mental health,” said Marshall Burke, an assistant professor in the Department of Earth System Science at Stanford University. There also might be “a plausible biological linkage between temperature, thermal regulation and how the brain regulates its own emotion.”

An increase in Type 2 diabetes

Is there a link between climate change and diabetes?

Rising temperatures are associated with an increase in Type 2 diabetes, according to a 2017 study published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care. However, researchers looked only at the correlation between temperatures and diabetes, so the study didn’t establish that temperatures necessarily caused the disease.
Still, researchers found that diabetes rates increased by about 4% for every 1 degree Celsius of warming in the United States. Worldwide, glucose intolerance rose by 0.17% per degree Celsius of warming.
Lead study author Lisanne Blauw, a researcher at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, said that “a 1-degree Celsius rise in environmental temperature could account for more than 100,000 new diabetes cases per year in the USA alone.”
Although calorie consumption and obesity are likely to be the biggest risk factors for diabetes, the study hypothesizes that warmer temperatures might decrease the activity of brown fat tissue, which burns fat and generates heat in colder weather.
“In warmer climates, brown fat may be less activated,” Blauw said, “which may causally lead to insulin resistance and diabetes.”

Respiratory problems and stroke

Most scientists agree that greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide are contributing to global warming, but those emissions aren’t just hurting the planet. Fossil fuel pollutants can also generate a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets in the atmosphere that can enter your lungs and even your bloodstream.
Pediatricians are concerned about climate change, and here's why
That mixture, called particulate matter, can aggravate asthma, decrease lung function and increase your risk of cardiovascular events such as strokes, according to a study published last year in The Lancet. That same study estimated that over 8 million people die early due to air pollution every year.
A warming planet also means more wildfires, which routinely release smoke that further worsens air quality. A 2011 report from the National Research Council found that a warming of just 1 degree Celsius could lead to a 400% increase in the area of land burned by wildfires.
But it’s not just smoke and pollutants you’re inhaling; it’s pollen, too. Increases in carbon dioxide can trigger plants to produce more polle, which might explain why the pollen season seems to get worse each year.
A 2012 study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology conference estimated that pollen counts were expected to reach 21,735 grains per cubic meter in 2040. In 2000, that number was just 8,455.

More car crashes and fewer food inspections

Even small changes in climate can impact human behavior, leading to an increase in fatal car accidents and a decrease in food safety inspections, according to a study published this year in PNAS.
Researchers analyzed data from more than 70 million police stops, more than 500,000 motor vehicle accidents and nearly 13 million food safety violations.
Unexpected effects of climate change: worse food safety, more car wrecks
They found that above 29 degrees Celsius (84 Fahrenheit), police conduct fewer traffic stops, which can contribute to unsafe driving conditions. A 10-degree Celsius increase in maximum temperatures decreased traffic stops by 1.5%, according to the study, and that same temperature change amplified the risk of a fatal car crash by half a percentage point.
The researchers also found that health officials were less likely to conduct food safety inspections when temperatures exceeded 26 Celsius (79 Fahrenheit). Across the 750,000 restaurants and food production facilities they studied, they found that a 10-degree increase in temperatures translated to 8,000 fewer inspections per day.
When those facilities were inspected, though, hotter temperatures led to more violations, probably because pathogens like E. coli and salmonella grow faster in warmer weather.
Obradovich, the MIT Media Lab research scientist who co-authored the study, noted that “hot temperatures are basically bad for human functioning.” The crux of the idea, he said, was that “weather affects how we perform our duties and how we go about our daily lives and the risks that we experience.”
By Arman Azad, CNN

Add Asthma to List of Possible Causes of Childhood Obesity

Add Asthma to List of Possible Causes of Childhood Obesity

Children with asthma are at increased risk for childhood obesity, a new study suggests.

Obesity is widely regarded as a risk factor for asthma, but these new findings suggest the reverse is true, too, according to the researchers.

The study authors analyzed data from more than 21,000 children in nine European countries who were diagnosed with asthma at ages 3 to 4 years old and followed up to age 8.

Compared to toddlers without asthma, those with asthma were 66 percent more likely to become obese, and the risk was 50 percent higher among those with persistent wheezing.

Children with active asthma were nearly twice as likely to become obese than those without asthma and wheezing, according to the study.

“Asthma may contribute to the obesity epidemic. We urgently need to know if prevention and adequate treatment of asthma can reduce the trajectory toward obesity,” study co-author Frank Gilliland, professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California, said in a university news release.

One way that asthma may contribute to obesity is by limiting children’s physical activity, the researchers said.

It’s also been suggested that higher doses of inhaled corticosteroids used to treat asthma may increase the risk of obesity. In this study, children with asthma who used medication had the greatest risk of becoming obese.

“We care about this issue because asthma affects approximately 6.5 million children — about 1 in 10 — in the United States,” said study senior author Lida Chatzi, also a professor of preventive medicine at USC.

“It’s a chronic childhood disorder and if it increases the risk of obesity, we can advise parents and physicians on how to treat it and intervene to help young children grow up to enjoy healthy, adult lives,” Chatzi said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 40 percent of Americans — or 93 million people — are obese. Obesity is linked to diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans with asthma in the United States is growing every year. About 1 in 12 people now has the illness, the study authors said.

The study was published recently in the European Respiratory Journal.

HeathDay