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Public health

Fri19Dec2014

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The Wild West of stem cell procedures

From street-side stem cell clinics promising the wheelchair-confined that they will walk to corporate cord blood banks that offer to store your baby’s umbilical cord blood, an unethical and unregulated industry in stem cell procedures is feeding off the desperation of Indian patients. A comprehensive regulatory structure is urgently needed, writes Sandhya Srinivasan

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The corrupt doctor

Following the arrest of the president of the Medical Council of India for accepting a bribe to recognise a substandard medical college, Sandhya Srinivasan points out that when money can buy medical seats, college accreditation, and degrees, we’re talking about multiple investments that must earn their returns. Those returns are being earned at the expense of consumers and patients

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Pirates of traditional knowledge

By Sandhya Srinivasan

If a draft protocol on access and benefit-sharing of genetic resources is adopted in Japan in October, there will finally be an international law to prevent corporations from commandeering biological resources and traditional knowledge for their own profit, without sharing it with the community that holds the knowledge

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A vaccine for every ailment

By Sandhya Srinivasan

Thirty thousand girl-children from poor and marginalised communities have been involved in an unethical vaccine study against the HPV virus that causes cervical cancer. Why did the Gujarat and Andhra governments sanction this study? And what is the necessity for this vaccine costing Rs 9,000 when even screening tests for cervical cancer are not widespread in India despite costing between Rs 4-250?

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Why does a drug company sponsor research?

By Sandhya Srinivasan

Does a pharmaceutical MNC sponsor research on the risk factors for breast cancer because it is altruistic, or because it markets a drug for this particular problem that costs a patient Rs 90,000 per month? Sandhya Srinivasan starts a new column on the impact of healthcare markets on you, the consumer/patient

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