Equinox Logic Pvt. Ltd. Blogs

it's all about logic and creativity.

   Feb 08

DRUG TRIAL- ARE ETHICS FOLLOWED?

Supreme Court of India on Monday issued notice to Medical Council of India and Health and Family Welfare Ministry for conducting the drug/clinical trial of untested drugs to mostly poor, needy and uneducated people without prior informed consent, in the hospitals where doctors also get commissions per patient by the pharmaceutical companies mostly foreign. These companies get their subject very easily in India.
Clinical trial is the research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of human to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate effect on health outcomes. These are basically trials of new, untested drugs tested in animal studies but not human, about the dose, duration of action, benefits and risks related to the drug. The most important part of the clinical trial is hence the informed consent of the subject on whom trial has to be conducted.
Informed consent is a LEGALLY defined process of a person being told about the facts involved in a clinical trial before deciding whether to participate in the study or not. Key facts include purpose, duration, required procedures, risks, potential benefits and key contacts after which participant will decide whether to participate in the study or not. Subject can withdraw from the study anytime during the study. For the poor, uneducated people most of the things in the study are not made clear for the fear of their refusal. They are offered with various incentives.
Another point is that there are lacunae in the law and their implementation. The ethical issues related to the trials are handled by Drug Controller General of India for whom PATIENT SAFETY is of prime importance. Any discrepancy in this is liable to serious punishment.
There is no doubt in the fact that the discovery of new drug has occurred in each cenutury and has saved millions of lives from the deadlier diseases. New drugs have to be discovered. Its demand of time, but not at the cost of patient’s lives……it should be SCIENTIFIC, LEGAL AND ETHICAL.


   Feb 08

US perspectives Student Life

It’s been quite a while, I had been contemplating on writing this blog about my experiences in the US. The experiences range from student life to work. Most people go to the US with lots of dreams, and hopes to the US. In order to realize these dreams, they have the courage to overcome all the obstacles in their way. However, it’s a smooth ride for some while a difficult road for some. Some youngsters especially think it’s too easy. Some think it’s difficult, no matter what you think, you should always strive towards realizing your dreams, that’s the energy which keeps you going even if the road is difficult.
In my opinion the road is most difficult for those who go to the US, without any relatives, friends to guide them. Right from college days for Master’s level studies to securing of training and to securing a stable job, there are several obstacles. In order to complete one’s studies one has to often make sure that he/she is able to suffice his/her living expenses. We used to work for more than 30 hours a week, it often meant cycling about 2miles to work. Working from bookstores to gas stations to library. It’s probably an important phase of adaptation. One learns to value all types of work. The pressure on studies is even higher, due to the time being spent on work. Well, one also encounters myriad of people with different aspects, towards aliens. Well, part of working for such jobs you also realize that, you need to secure, a job that pays off and advances your career. It’s hard time for those who cannot secure a Optional Practical Training (OPT). For those who secure an OPT means even hard work, now you would be working 40 hours a week and still have to work on your dissertation and complete your degree. Securing an OPT is also part of maintaining your VISA status. Without the OPT it becomes difficult to grip your living expenses and complete the degree.
The joy of this hard work and dedication and whatever pains experienced pays off, when you successfully defend your dissertation, and complete your Master’s degree. You would be thankful to your Adviser, the committee members, Professors and friends and the company that arranges the OPT. Well, if you do something really different, in your dissertation which advances your stream of field you would see, the appreciation resonate from your Advisers and committee members. If they see something really different you would be recommended for a PhD even.
Well next blog I shall focus on a few work related life and obstacles.

   Feb 04

CANCER- PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE

As it is perfectly said that “prevention is better than cure” which held true for the diseases like cancer because firstly once u have got cancer it’s a lifetime morbidity with early mortality too, and many Factors responsible in the causation of cancer are now known and preventable some of which are-
1. Tobacco- responsible for most of the cancers
2. Alcohol intake
3. Dietary factors- habit of eating smoked fish responsible for the stomach cancer in Japan.
4. Physical inactivity (sedentary habits).
5. Exposure to carcinogens mainly chemical like arsenic, lead.
6. Viruses like HPV virus, Hepatitis B virus, cytomegalovirus (one fifth of the cancers globally caused by these
viruses).
7. Others like air pollution (indoor as well as outdoor pollution), medications, ultraviolet and ionizing
radiations.

“TOGETHER IT IS POSSIBLE” is the theme for the world cancer day 2012, celebrated on 4th February 2012. We can definitely reduce the risk of cancer if we concentrate on prevention strategies of the cancer prevention mainly vaccination and screening for the disease.
Many cancers if diagnosed in the early stage can be treated and mortality can be prevented by screening tests like breast, cervical and colon cancers. Others can be prevented by vaccination e.g. cervical cancer caused by human papilloma virus and liver cancer by the hepatitis B virus.
Early diagnosis of the cancer can prevent nearly 30-40% of the cancer related mortality which can be done by making general population aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer (danger signs) some of which are-
1. Lump or hard area in the breast (breast cancer)
2. A change in wart or mole (skin cancer)
3. A persistent change in the digestive or bowel habits (any gastro-intestinal cancer)
4. A persistent cough or hoarseness (larynx, lung or oesophageal cancer)
5. Excessive loss of blood through genitor-urinary tract (cervical or vaginal or uterine cancer)
6. Blood loss from any natural orifice.
7. A swelling or sore that doesn’t get better.
8. Unexplained loss of weight.

While vaccination can prevent the cervical and liver cancer which accounts for the 30-40% cancer globally. Vaccine against human papilloma virus (4,11, 16,18) can reduce 70% cases of cervical cancer and against hepatitis B can reduce 20-25% cases of liver cancer.


   Feb 04

PHASES OF PANDEMICS

 

pandemics

Pandemics


PHASES OF PANDEMIC DISEASE-

Pandemic of the infectious disease is nothing but the spread of the disease worldwide, beyond one continent and country. Many diseases are known to cause pandemics, the most recent being the pandemic of HIV virus (AIDS).

But in the recent years, The Influenza H1N1 pandemic has shaken the whole world’s health as well as economy. Started in 2009 in Mexico and spread globally. It has taken a death toll of around 15,000. Some other pandemics of influenza before had taken millions of lives. Some of these are –

1889–90 — Asiatic (Russian) Flu, mortality rate said to be 0.75–1 death per 1000 possibly H2N2

1918-20- Spanish Flu, 500 million ill, at least 20-40 million died of H1N1

1957–58 – Asian Flu, 1 to 1.5 million died of H2N2

1968–69 – Hong Kong Flu, 3/4 to 1 million died of H3N2

2009 – Swine Flu, caused by H1N1/09, 14,286 died

As per the World Health Organization, every pandemic has 6 phases.

Phase 1– Influenza virus circulate among animas, mostly birds (other animals are swine, horses), but no circulating virus among animals is reported to cause disease in humans.

Phase 2– Potential Pandemic Threat, Circulating domesticated or wild animal strain cause infection in humans.

Phase 3– small sporadic cluster of disease in people, animal or human-animal reassortant virus Strains, but unable to cause community level outbreaks, human to human transmission has not occurred.

Phase 4-community level outbreaks with human to human transmissions. At this phase important to report to the WHO because there is significantly increased risk of pandemic.

Phase 5-human to human transmission of the virus in at least 2 countries in one WHO region indicating that pandemic is imminent and requires organization, communication and implementation of the surveillance activities.

Phase 6-community level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region in addition to the criteria in phase 5.

Post-Peak Phase– Pandemic has dropped with the adequate surveillance, but additional waves in the upcoming months can occur.

Post-Pandemic Phase– influenza disease activity has returned to the normal i.e. to the seasonal influenza level but important to maintain surveillance and update pandemic preparedness and response.

All these phases can be used for thee other pandemic causing diseases also.


   Jan 20

Cost of Setting up Business in India

I had been retrospecting lately about the cost of setting up a business in India and the US. There are pros and cons to both. Entrepreneurs would often face altogether different set of problems in India and US.

In the US the cost of setting up a Inc. is about $80.00 including postage fees etc. The cost of setting up a LLC(a Limited Liability Corporation) or LLP(Limited Liability Partnership) both the concepts are quite new in India ranges from $250-$600 depending on professionals one hires.

Now lets, look at the scenario in India. The cost of hiring a professional and setting up a Pvt. Ltd. company depends on your share price and the number of shares you wish to purchase, however, mostly it costs around $15000(yes, around fifteen thousand dollars) which also includes some CA fees etc. Well, apart from that, you also need to take into consideration tax regulations.

The cost of activating the following from a CA:

  • Service Tax
  • Profession Tax (x the number of directors) + company
  • PAN for the company and each directors
  • Sales tax for the company linked to the PAN

The total cost for the above comes to around $3000. It’s a complete rip off even before you start acting on your ideas.

All I want to say is that India presents a very tough environment for Entrepreneurs.  Well, lets compare the same on time basis. The amount of time required to setup an Inc. company in US is about a week. For a LLC about 3 weeks. Let’s compare this to India, In India, even if you spend extra, the time cannot be squeezed below 16weeks. Hopefully, the Ministry of Finance and Economic affairs also the Ministry for Industries takes these aspects into consideration.

What Entrepreneurs are truly interested in is to start rolling the dice if they are sure of their ideas. The time is an important factor since, there are a whole bunch of other factors which go into decision making and setting up a business. Ideas, need to be conceptualized within a time frame. Entrepreneurs have to drop on their ideas and move on to new ones because of the time lost. While on the other end an Entrepreneur in the US hardly has to drop his ideas. The process of setting up a business is more transparent, easy in the US.

While in the US, setting up businesses is favored, hence, some of the policies have been designed to expedite the processes in the US.

Imagine someone coming up with an idea wanting to start early. Imagine another company in the US wanting to work on a similar idea but a different platform. The Entrepreneur with, significant time lead has more chances of successfully implementing the idea.

I do not want to criticize the policies in India nor favor those policies in the US. One needs a perspective on both ends. I have experience on both ends and hence, these aspects often come to my  mind. There are pros and cons to both ends. Encouraging entrepreneurs to spend more time on their ideas would make them successful which in turn would make a region be recognized, which in turn shall make our nation shine and leave a mark in the universe.

Looking forward to a more smarter, stronger and better India. Jai Hind.

Equinox Logic Pvt. Ltd.