eMedinewS Editorial

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Metformin Associated With Decreased B12 Levels

Dear Colleague

Patients on metformin may have a higher risk of decreased levels of vitamin B12 and increased homocysteine levels, according to research published in the May 20 issue of BMJ. In the study Dr Jolien de Jager, of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues randomized 390 patients with type 2 diabetes receiving insulin to either 850 mg metformin or placebo three times daily over 4.3 years and found that metformin was associated with a mean decrease of 19 percent in B12 concentration compared to placebo. The absolute risk of B12 deficiency was 7.2 percentage points higher in the metformin group, the absolute risk of low B12 was 11.2 percentage points higher in the metformin group, and the mean levels of homocysteine were inversely correlated with B12 levels. The conclusion of the study was that long–term treatment with metformin increases the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, which results in raised homocysteine concentrations. Regular measurement of vitamin B12 concentrations during long–term metformin treatment should be strongly considered.

Medical education to remain under Health Ministry

The Health Ministry has rejected the proposal of Ministry of HRD to bring the medical education under the proposed National Council for Higher Education and Research (NCHER). Medical education cannot be separated from the Health Ministry, said Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said. The health ministry has proposed to set up a National Council for Human Resources in Health (NCHRH) as an overarching regulatory body to reform the current regulatory framework and enhance the supply of skilled personnel in the health sector. A task force was formed in June for setting up the NCHRH and the task force submitted its report in July 2009.  The report and draft Bill was circulated to the states for their comments and 13 states have already responded.
Azad has also advised the newly-constituted panel replacing the dissolved MCI to work fairly without fear. Azad asked them to judiciously take all decisions and maintain transparency, honesty and integrity.The new panel would be an autonomous body with double powers. It will include the powers of the MCI and the Health Ministry.  As used to happen earlier where the Ministry had a final say, now the panel’s decision will be considered final. (Source ENS)
Request by DMA

DMA has requested all members to inform DMA Office by email delhimedicalassociation@yahoo.com, or  telephonically 01123271726, 01123285727 or to Dr. Ashwini Dalmiya, Hony. State Secretary (9811542055) alongwith their complete addresses and branch number, in case they are not getting DMA news bulleting published fortnightly.

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee and Chief Editor