1. MSPC’s DIC has successfully completed WHO India country office funded project titled as “Building of database of brands of pharmaceutical formulations and study the cases of Misbranding and SALA Drugs responsible for Medication Errors in Maharashtra and Gujarat State”

It is now uploaded on website of WHO India country office as:

Study of Misbranding and SALA Drugs Responsible For Medication Errors in Maharashtra and Gujarat

In this era of consumer awareness, the field of health care is still an area of concern. The common person in India who purchases medication at the chemist is inadequately informed about the contents of the medicationThere are two kinds of problems that are commonly encountered. First, even a casual look at the list of brands existing in the Indian pharmaceutical sector reveals that a number of products have either the same brand name or names which are very similar both phonetically and written. Second, there are a number of recorded instances where the composition of a particular brand has been changed without any change in the brand name – a phenomenon termed as ‘misbranding’. Both these have the potential to cause immense harm through misprescription and/or wrong dispensing. Therefore, MSPC’s Drug Information Centre undertook the project in collaboration with CDSCO, MOHFW, GOI and WHO Country Office for India and created a detection tool to study the cases of Misbranding and SALA drugs responsible for Medication Errors in Maharashtra and Gujarat State.

In conclusion, in case of misbranded drugs, cognizance must be taken by the regulatory authorities, while granting the manufacturing license number for a particular brand. Otherwise, brand identity will be lost. Also, in case if sound-alike and look- alike (SALA) brand names of various drugs are here to stay. As new products are made available, additional confusion is bound to occur. Numerous errors have occurred in the past due to misinterpretation of written or spoken names. Thus, it is the need of the hour to give a wake-up call and all those concerned should get themselves together to solve this gigantic problem. We should not forget that the unfortunate patient, for whom all the brand names are made, is ultimately at the receiving end of this confusion. We hope that this study serves as a base to have a cautionary approach and to make practitioners aware of these potential hazards.

2. Training of general practitioners and community pharmacists in Mumbai on rational use of drugs (RUD)

World Health Organization India-WHO Essential Drugs Programme and Delhi Society for Promotion of Rational Use of Drugs (DSPRUD) provided technical support and funding of the project.

The project was implanted with a vision that there are totally 3000 doctors who are members of General Practitioners Association (GPA-GB) all over Mumbai. These doctors holding M.B.B.S. degree, run family practice and are therefore are called as Family Physicians and treat hundreds of patients on daily basis. Thus the contact of these GPs with common man is very strong and continuous. In fact these GPs if trained adequately on RUD concept then the outcome will reflect the significant change in prescribing trends with a tilt to Rational Drug Use pattern. Additionally if the community pharmacists in the same area are trained and sensitized to benefits of RUD, will enhance the success of intervention carried out. These pharmacists in drug store daily receive prescriptions written by GPs for the patients, thus being an important link between doctor and patients. If they also contribute to healthcare by giving patients the needed information in local language to improve the outcome of treatment, it will minimize adverse reactions and overuse of medicines. Additionally when Community Pharmacists undergo such training, it will bring down unnecessary self-medication by common man, which is another area of concern. Training of these Doctors & Pharmacists in Rational Use of Drugs will improve the standards of GPs’ dispensaries & drug stores and quality of prescribing and dispensing.

3. Guiding Principles for Pharmacists to fight against Novel Influenza A (H1N1) [Swine Flu]

The report was submitted to SEARPharm forum, New Delhi in 2009.

The report contains information about influenza virus and Role of Pharmacist in current Pandemic Influenza.

Annual influenza epidemics in humans affect 5–15% of the population, causing an estimated half million deaths worldwide per year. Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It is caused by a virus that affects mainly upper respiratory tract- the nose, throat, bronchi and, occasionally, lungs. Community pharmacist should effectively communicate with consumers and should-

Ask consumers to perform hand hygiene frequently, by washing with soap and water or using an alcohol based hand rub, especially if touching the mouth and nose and surfaces that are potentially contaminated. Educate consumers the proper technique of washing hands.

Instruct consumers to refrain from touching mouth and nose, eyes. Germs spread this way.

Ask healthy persons to maintain distance of at least 1 meter (more than an arm's length) from any individual with influenza-like symptoms.

Instruct healthy persons to avoid or reduce as much as possible the time spent in close cont) act with people who might be ill.

Advice people to reduce as much as possible the time spent in crowded settings.

Guide consumers to keep their living and working place clean and improve airflow in their living space by opening windows as much as possible.

Ask consumers to practice good health habits including, eating nutritious food, minimizing stress keeping physically active by regular exercise, and developing good sleep habits help your immune system stays strong.