Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Who is a ‘Dr’, asks court

Can a hair therapist call himself a doctor or a beautician write “Dr” before her name?
The word “Doctor” has come under the legal scanner, with a high court division bench asking the state medical council to submit an affidavit on relevant rules empowering individuals to put “Dr” before their names.

The bench headed by Chief Justice S.S. Nijjar issued the directive following a public interest litigation by city resident Sanjib Das, who is pleading for an order preventing individuals specialising in “alternative medicines” from writing “Dr” before their names.

“Body-weight reducers, hair therapists and even some beauticians using herbal products are writing ‘Doctor’ before their names. They do not have any degree from recognised medical institutions,” the petition states, calling for a ban on such disciplines.

Das has accused the “police and administration” of turning a blind eye to “fake doctors”, thereby helping them “cheat the public”.

Dilip Kumar Ghosh, the registrar of the state medical council, told Metro that only those who have at least an MBBS degree — or an equivalent one in ayurved, unani or homoeopathy — and are enrolled with an authority established by an act of Parliament can call themselves “doctor” and use the “Dr” prefix.

“Practitioners of ayurved, unani and homoeopathy have to state their degrees to ensure patients are not confused,” said Ghosh.

As for “alternative medicines” the petitioner refers to, the registrar said: “They are not recognised as branches of medicine. Anyone specialising in them cannot write ‘Dr’ before his/her name.”

The owners of many city-based clinics have opposed the petitioner’s contention and been made respondents.

Appearing for S.K. Agarwal who runs a hair transplant clinic, lawyer Arun Maity submitted that there was no clause in the Indian Medical Council Act clarifying who were allowed to call themselves “doctor”.

“In the UK, only physicians with an MD degree can write ‘Dr’ before their names. But in India there is no such rule.”

The submission prompted the bench to ask counsel for the state medical council, Saibalendu Bhowmik, to state through an affidavit his client’s views on the issue.

The council’s lawyer, however, is clear that people with degrees in “alternative medicines” cannot treat people. “The state should impose a ban on institutes offering degrees in such disciplines. Those who are cheating people by practising alternative medicine should be arrested immediately.”

Opposing Bhowmik’s submission, Maity said: “In 1999, Justice B.P. Bannerjee of the high court had observed that there should be no bar on individuals with degrees in alternative medicines treating people. The state is yet to appeal against the observation. So, under what law will the government impose the ban?”

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Himalayan Viagra Still Popular Impotence Remedy

Written by Richard Simmons

It amazes us in the Ukmedix Newsroom how people still believe that by using ‘traditional, herbal or natural’ erectile dysfunction remedies they can cure the problem of impotence. The internet is awash with so called herbal Viagra tablets and potions which are in most cases actually poorly manufactured copies of the real Viagra tablets. The problem is that when men suffer from impotence they are extremely desperate and therefore are prepared to try practically anything which offers a glimmer of hope, and therefore the people who peddle herbal Viagra actually make substantial profits despite a useless product.

Himalayan Viagra Still Popular Impotence Remedy

One country which is keen to cash in on this lucrative trade in herbal Viagra is the tiny Himalayan country of Sikkim. The fungus which grows naturally in the forest areas of Sikkim is called Cordyceps Sinensis and is often referred to as Himalayan Viagra. The government there has drafted legislation which will prevent the illegal sales of the fungus and only allow it to be sold at official Forest and Wildlife Department shops.

The fungus which is also referred to as Caterpillar Fungus is found in a number of other Himalayan countries such as Nepal and Bhutan and is sold for a huge amount of money when compared to what the average person in the region normally earns. A simple kilogram of the fungus may be sold for as much as £1,500 which makes the people who climb up into the mountainous regions to collect it extremely rich.

The sad thing about this Himalayan Viagra is that there has not been one clinical test done to show that it is effective or safe in treating men who suffer from erectile dysfunction. Therefore the only reason why it continues to be popular is because when men are desperate they turn to desperate remedies and there may be a small amount of a placebo effect which makes men think that they have slightly better erectile function after using it.

© 2009 This content has been exclusively written by UKMedix

Monday, June 8, 2009

New drug cocktail brings hope to leukemia cancer patients

Sara B. Caldwell

Using an asthma medication already available on the market, scientists were able to treat chronic myeloid leukemia by targeting a gene involved with the inflammatory response.
Specifically, the gene Alox5 was found to play a vital role in the development and maintenance of cancer stem cells. Normally, “it processes essential fatty acids to leukotrienes, which are important agents in the inflammatory response.”

The researchers found that chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) did not develop in mice without Alox5 because of impaired function of leukemia stem cells. Also, Alox5 deficiency did not affect normal stem cell function, providing the first clear differentiation between normal and cancer stem cells.

Using this knowledge, the team treated CML mice with two already-available prescription medications: Zileuton and Gleevec (imatinib). Zileuton, an asthma medication, was chosen because it inhibits the Alox5 inflammation pathway. Imatinib is a leukemia medication. Combined, the two drugs “provided an even better therapeutic effect.”

The research is published in the journal Nature Genetics, and is authored by Shaoguang Li, M.D., Ph.D., et al. of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.

New drug to treat diabetes, study says

A newly developed diabetes drug is more effective than older available medication in helping patients control their blood sugar levels, a study says.

According to the study presented on Sunday at the ADA scientific meeting, once-daily liraglutide, taken as monotherapy, helps diabetics reach and maintain their target blood sugar levels more effectively compared with the commonly used glimepiride -- belonging to an old class known as sulfonylureas.

The injectable liraglutide belongs to a newer GLP-1 class and works by stimulating the release of insulin only when blood sugar levels are high.

Novo Nordisk A/S's experimental diabetes drug is reported to work better than glimepiride in lowering the A1C levels -- used to measure the average plasma glucose concentration over prolonged periods of time.

"People overall lose weight with liraglutide. That's a significant value-added benefit to this class of drugs," said Alan Garber, the lead researcher of the study.

While nausea, diarrhea and vomiting were the most common side effects of liraglutide, hypoglycemia -- dangerously low blood sugar -- was rarely reported following the use of this agent.