A parasympathetic lifestyle is the gateway to good mental health

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Children undergo several kinds of pressures today and most importantly from social media

New Delhi, 5 February 2019: Data shows the growing prevalence of mental illnesses, especially among children and adolescents. About 15 million individuals are battling some form of mental health illness in India; another 10% of all children suffer from some form of mental health issue and more than 50% of these go untreated. Many more are undetected. At the same time, the psychosocial stressors experienced by children cannot be ignored either.

Depression is now the single largest illness in the world; suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults; and almost half of all mental illnesses begin by the age of 14. Some external contributing factors include the growing pressure of academics and competitive entrance examinations, and even exposure to media, which seems to invade almost every aspect of our lives.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Education without strong character is like a ship without a captain. Good education is successful only when it incorporates values which are indispensable for a holistic life. While qualifications and skills are essential for the success of an individual, without values he/she will become incomplete as a person. All children should dedicate one day for value learning. For instance, Monday should be observed as non-violence in words day; Tuesday as ‘sorry and confession’ day; Wednesday as a day of giving everyone non-materialistic gifts; Thursday as a day of creativity and innovations; Friday as the day for being with the nature; and Saturday as the day of offering help to everyone. Sunday is the only day of breaking some laws.”

Schools can be the hotbed for change – healthy change. Habits inculcated at this tender age can shape children into better individuals, both in body and mind.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Quantum physics explains that the mechanism of depression and anxiety can be an imbalance between understanding the way particle duality functions. Balancing this can further help in treating depression and other such mental disorders. The parasympathetic nervous system plays a vital role in maintaining both mental and physical health by helping the body to calm down from stress reactions that elevate blood pressure, dilate the pupils, and divert energy from other body processes to fighting or fleeing.”

Some HCFI tips to practice a parasympathetic lifestyle.

  • Include foods that support your system Consume a diet based on whole foods. This includes green leafy vegetables, quality protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.
  • Hydrate the body adequately staying hydrated will help the lymphatic system flush out toxins and remove the metabolic waste out of the body. This is essential to detoxify, nourish, and regenerate tissue.
  • Include some physical activity Exercise is positive physiological stress for the body. Yoga, for example, is known to accrue great benefits to both the mind and body.
  • Practice mindfulness this includes a combination of practices, habits, thoughts, and behaviours to help you get through your daily life. Mindfulness means intentionally and actively seeking to lower the body’s response to stress.

How are the prices of drugs fixed?

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Drugs sold in India, whether generic or branded, are either scheduled or non-scheduled drugs as per the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.

The prices of all scheduled drugs is capped. But, the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 (DPCO 2013) allows 16% margin to the retailer, as per para 19 of the DPCO, within the ceiling price fixed by the government. The distributor generally has a 8% trade margin. They are not permitted to increase the price more than 10% in a year.

This means that chemists can give concession up to 16% in controlled drugs and up to 20% in unscheduled drugs. The distributor or the company can directly give up to 30% discount. High cost products are marketed directly by the companies. In most cancer products the hospitals make 30% margins or more.

Non-scheduled drugs, on the other hand, are not under price control. So, the pharmaceuticals are at liberty to decide the margin and they may decide the MRP. They fix the MRP of these drugs in such a way that there is generous amount of trade margin for wholesalers and retailers. However, it is reported by the industry that as a norm rather than the law, the retailer enjoys a trade margin of 20% and the distributor a trade margin of 10% for non-scheduled drugs. This comprises 89% of the market of non-scheduled medicines with 27321 products. So, only about 11% (5503 products) have a trade margin of more than 30%. But, the government can and has been intervening whenever the need arises to cap the prices of drugs when brought to its notice under Para 19 of the DPCO.

Most disposables, reagents, devices, equipments are unscheduled products with no price control.

Here are few related terms and their meaning.

Retail price of a drug: This is the price at which a drug is sold to a consumer. The manufacturer is required to print such a price on the label of the product. In case of controlled formulations, the retail price is a price arrived at or fixed in accordance with the provisions of DPCO, 1995.

Local taxes extra: This now means GST.

Total amount required to be paid: Printed MRP (Maximum Retail Price) plus GST. However, a medicine can be sold below this price.

Loose medicines: If a retailer sells loose quantity (unpacked), the price of such medicine should not exceed pro-rata amount of the price printed on the label of the container, plus 5% thereof.

Price control: Only 74 out of about 500 commonly used bulk drugs are kept under statutory price control. All formulations containing these bulk drugs either in a single or combination form fall under price-controlled category. However, the prices of other drugs can be regulated, if warranted in public interest.

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania   (CMAAO)

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Past National President IMA