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TB Patients to be provided Free Drugs Even in Private Pharmacies Soon

Many of us aren’t aware that the government of India provides free TB medicines to people at government authorized centers like government hospitals, DOTS providers, Community directly observed Treatment as a part of their efforts to eradicate TB completely from the country. Further, there is good news around it. The highest drug advisory of India has considered relaxing the rules under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

India has had a high number of TB cases and hence the government felt the need to make the TB drugs accessible faster. By taking private pharmacies into the circle of free stocking and dispensing of TB medicines will definitely increase the reach. The idea was popped last year with the objective of increasing the accessibility of medicines for the people in need. Furthermore, the pharmacists will have to keep a stock of it also because they came under Schedule H1, as per the director-general of health services.

TB Patients - Free Drugs

The proposal is to amend rule 65(18) of the Drugs and cosmetics act by proviso insertion on the distribution as well as stocking of anti-TB drugs by taking private pharmacies into the Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP) of the government of India.

By establishing linkages with the private sector the objective is to establish linking between the private and the government for not only distribution of free drugs but for patient support services and counseling as well. The national TB control program is on a mission of providing universal access to TB patients as the latest global TB report released by the world health organization showed India topping the charts.

Another reason for trying to make TB drugs accessible at private pharmacies is to shun away the stigma around the condition in some sections of society. So, if you know of someone having TB or just share this information with your maids and other servants, it just might help them or people they know dealing with the condition.

Vitamin D Deficiency and Joint Pain

While the studies are inconclusive till now and still research is going on, most of them do state that Vitamin D deficiency is responsible for joint as well as muscle pain. The symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency and Joint Pain include Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) pain that occurs in the knees, hips, and legs as well as joints and muscles.

Vitamin D Deficiency and Joint Pain

Joint Pain
There is a belief that Vitamin D plays a significant role in relieving the joint pain condition, specifically if the pain is due to deficiency. Some studies that support the belief include the following:

  • A 2011 study of postmenopausal women, published in ‘Maturitas’ suggested that women with severe joint pain did suffer from very low vitamin D levels.
  • Another study in 2011 published under ‘Clinical Rheumatology’ stated that 70 percent of the patients who experienced some kind of joint pain were also deficient in Vitamin D.
  • A research paper of the year 2012 states that Vitamin D could be one of the risk factors associated with inflammatory diseases such as RA and could also lead to an increase in the severity of it.
  • Another research paper of the year 2016 has stated that people with RA conditions also showed low Vitamin D levels.
  • Studies have also stated that increased levels of Vitamin D in the body can help prevent joint conditions like Osteoporosis. Even people suffering from RA are subject to osteoporotic fractures and even suffer from joint pain.

These studies have been inconclusive after a large study in 2015 concluded that the evidence available is not strong enough to prove that Vitamin D deficiency is solely responsible for joint pain. But the fact that most of the Indians and numerous over the world suffer from Vitamin D deficiency holds true. The percentage is over 70% across the world when it comes to Vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient that is found in many foods. A natural source of Vitamin D is the Sun. The normal levels of Vitamin D are said to be 30-80 ng/ ml while below 20 is considered to be a severe deficiency.

Related: Five Healthy Foods That Are Rich in Vitamin D

Food and Supplements
Experts suggest a daily intake of 600 IUS for anyone under 70 years of age. While infants below 1 it’s around 400 and for adults above 70 its 800 IUS. Some food sources of Vitamin D include beef, egg yolks, shitake mushrooms, canned fish, almond milk, salmon, orange juice, fortified tofu, breakfast cereals, but to name a few. A Vitamin D test can help you know if you are deficient or not and the doctor might prescribe you vitamin D supplements if you are to bring your Vitamin D levels as per the desired levels.