Handout/via The News
ISLAMABAD: A committee has been set up to give Pakistan its first National Medicine Policy, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s special assistant on health services, Dr Zafar Mirza, said Tuesday.
The National Medicine Policy’s aim would be to reform the pharmaceutical sector to deal with issues related to access to medicine, drugs’ safety and quality, regulatory and production issues, and human resource development.
“In the next six-to-eight months, we would have first properly developed national medicine policy in Pakistan,” Dr Mirza said as he addressed an international conference on medicine safety here at a local hotel.
“Following the implementation of the new medicine policy, we would have a separate section dealing with safety and quality of drugs and to deal with adverse drug reactions and related issues,” he added.
The Pakistan Society of Health System Pharmacists (PSHP) and the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) organised the day-long international conference, wherein national and international experts addressed the attendees.
Among the experts were Professor Albert Figueras from Spain, DRAP Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Asim Rauf, PSHP President Abdul Latif Shaikh, and Umaimah Muzzamil.
As the event’s chief guest, Dr Mirza said Pakistan had the highest number of per-capita injections annually — eight a year — but stressed that 90 percent of those were neither necessary nor a medical requirement for the patients.
“Unsafe injection practices are leading to deadly infectious diseases outbreaks as well as killing people or making them permanently disabled in Pakistan.
“In these circumstances, there is a strong need for having a strong system of pharmacovigilance or monitoring the effects and safety of medicines in Pakistan”, he said, urging pharmacists to play their role in educating the masses on injection safety as well as the adverse reactions of drugs.
The special assistant explained that he first came to know about the medicines’ adverse reactions — sometimes lethal — during a visit to Japan in 1993 and observed that some 60-70 people had become permanently blind by using a medicine that was a household name in Pakistan at that time.
However, he emphasised that nobody in Pakistan was aware that that medicine was causing serious neurological issues to regular users.
“That drug was continued to be prescribed in Pakistan for next 30 years but as there was no system of pharmacovigilance or the monitoring of adverse drug reaction, perhaps it kept on making people blind and cause disability to them like in Japan,” he said.
Dr Mirza stated that there may be several other harmful reactions due to irrational use of medicines but due to the absence of an effective pharmacovigilance system, there was a serious lack of awareness.
Lauding the PSHP’s efforts, Dr Mirza hoped that with its help, people would be made aware of the damages some medicines could cause if not used as per qualified medical professionals’ advice.
Professor Figueras from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Pharmaceutical Collaborating Centre in Spain, said people in Pakistan should understand that “drugs are not candies” and should, therefore, not be taken without certified medical practitioners’ advice.
“Self-medication is here in Pakistan and people are very fond of using high potency drugs on their own. They are needed to taught that except for a few over the counter drugs, majority of drugs can kill them, make them permanently disabled and ruin their lives”, he warned.
Professor Figueras further called for the adoption of a proper system to monitor drugs and their dispensation in Pakistan.
Shaikh, the PSHP president, said in this regard the safe use of medication was an integral part of an effective healthcare system to cure and prevent diseases.
Therefore, the assessment, understanding, and prevention of adverse effects or any other drug-related problem made the foundation of pharmacovigilance, which, he said, “globally and nationally has taken on urgency as it directly correlate patient safety”.
Applauding a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the PSHP and the DRAP as a commendable example of public-private partnership, Shaikh noted that recent reports about cancer risks of “drugs like Valsartan and Ranitidine requires that we have such a system in place on the country”.
The PSHP, which has critical mass of health system pharmacists to help build capacity at the DRAP, would set a good example to promote competency and contribute towards patient safety, he added.
DRAP CEO Asif Rauf said this was the dawn of patients’ safety as his organisation had embarked upon establishing a robust system of pharmacovigilance and recently published and distributed related guidelines to key stakeholders.
NEW DELHI: Indian authorities in occupied Kashmir have detained 144 minors, including a nine-year-old, since the government removed the region´s special status in August, a police list seen by AFP showed Tuesday.
Sixty of the minors are under 15, according to the document submitted to a committee appointed by India´s Supreme Court to look into allegations of illegal detentions.
Reasons given by the police for detaining the minors include stone pelting, rioting and causing damage to public and private property, the committee said in its report.
Most have since been released, officials claimed.
The police however denied that any child was taken into “illegal detention” and said that the juveniles are “dealt strictly (with) as per the prescribed law”.
“It happens often that when minors/juveniles indulge in stone pelting, that they are momentarily held up on the spot and sent home. Some of these incidents are exaggerated beyond proportion,” the report quoted the police as saying.
New Delhi stripped Indian Occupied Kashmir of its autonomy on August 5, sending in tens of thousands of extra troops, cutting telecommunications and detaining thousands of people.
Almost two months on, many of the region´s top politicians remain in custody and mobile phones and the internet remain largely snapped in the occupied Kashmir Valley, the main trouble hotspot.
UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said last month she was “deeply concerned about the impact of recent actions by the government of India on the human rights of Kashmiris”.
Last week Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan told the UN General Assembly that India could unleash a “bloodbath” in the Muslim-majority territory.
An uprising against Indian rule and a tough Indian response has killed tens of thousands of people since 1989, most of them civilians.
PARIS: Supermodel Gigi Hadid confronted a gatecrasher at Chanel’s Paris fashion week show on Tuesday after the woman walked unchecked onto the catwalk with the models for the big finale.
The woman ran down from her seat and joined the models as they did their last walk along a spectacular set recreating the roofs of Paris inside the Grand Palais.
With security guards left floundering, Hadid — who walked in the show with her sister Bella — confronted the gatecrasher as she tried to further upstage the models, with the two facing off on the set.
The daring infiltrator was dressed from head to toe in a black and white Chanel-like tweed suit and hat and slipped unnoticed onto the catwalk.
Marie Benoliel, a French comedian and YouTuber known as Marie S’Infiltre (Marie Sneaks In), later claimed credit for the stunt.
Guards only realised that she had joined the models when it was too late to intervene.
“I couldn’t stop laughing because the hapless security guards couldn´t spot her in the line-up,” said New York Times fashion writer Elizabeth Paton, who had been on the front row.
By then the woman was giving it her all, waddling down the catwalk with her hands on her hips like a supermodel.
Moments later as the women left the line of models to pose further up on the rooftop, Hadid blocked her way before the visibly miffed model escorted the smiling woman offstage.
Models didn’t miss a step
Chanel told AFP that the woman had taken them by complete surprise but that “this is not the first time that she has done this.”
The same woman may also have gatecrashed a Paris show by the lingerie brand Etam last week.
Benoliel seemed to confirm this, posting “Marie S´Infiltre strikes again” on Instagram.
“We are not going to make a drama out of it,” a Chanel spokeswoman added.
“We would have preferred if it hadn’t happened.”
The woman was “escorted to the exit by our security personnel afterwards.”
The models hardly blinked an eye as the woman climbed onto the catwalk, making space for the gatecrasher as they filed backstage.
It was only as the woman doubled back to milk her big moment to the full that Hadid acted.
Most of the hundreds of fashionistas at the show did not realise what had happened as they clapped or filmed the finale with their smartphones.
Cardi B in the front row
With the front row crammed with celebrities from US rapper Cardi B to K-pop star Jennie and French actress Isabelle Adjani, security had been tight.
Chanel designer Virginie Viard had turned the clock back in her spring summer show, with a battalion of models channelling the insouciant sophistication of 1960s socialites.
Viard said she took Hollywood actress Kristen Stewart and the mould-breaking French New Wave films of the 1960s as her inspiration.
“The rooftops of Paris evoke the New Wave for me,” she said. “I thought of Kristen Stewart playing Jean Seberg and all the actresses that Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel dressed at the time,” she added, referring to the brand’s founder.
Stewart plays Seberg, the star of Jean-Luc Godard´s 1960 film “Breathless” which launched the New Wave, in a new biopic premiered at the Venice film festival last month.
Like several Paris shows over the last nine days Chanel’s clothes marked a strong return to femininity after several seasons when androgyny ruled the catwalks.
With its copious references to the French capital, Chanel also paid homage to the city’s style tribes of the 1960s and early 1970s, who also dominated the earlier Celine and Saint Laurent shows.
Viard took over the iconic French brand in February days after the death of its legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld.
HELSINKI: One person was killed and 10 injured in an attack at a vocational college in eastern Finland on Tuesday, police said, as local media quoted witnesses as saying a young man with a sword had burst into a classroom.
The suspected attacker, who was detained, was among the injured in the town of Kuopio, police said.
“Officers used firearms during the situation. Police have detained one perpetrator. The injured have been evacuated,” East Finland police said in a statement.
Eyewitness reports in Finnish media said the suspected assailant burst into a classroom in Savo Vocational College on Tuesday morning.
“He hit a girl in the neck with a sword and stabbed her in the stomach,” an unnamed eyewitness told Keskisuomalainen newspaper. The attacker also set off “some sort of small firebombs”, the eyewitness said.
Another eyewitness, Roosa Kokkonen, who works in a car garage opposite the college, told Finnish TV channel MTV that a teacher with blood running from her hand came fleeing out of the building.
“While I was helping the teacher, I started hearing other shouts for help. Students were running away and into my garage,” Kokkonen told MTV News.
She also told Finnish news agency STT that students described the weapon as “a long sword”, and that he “started swinging the sword around in the class”.
Police said two of the injured were in a serious condition.
In a tweet, Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne described the attack as “shocking and utterly reprehensible”.
CHITRAL: Two British climbers were rescued from a Pakistani mountain after one fell down a crevasse and received a head injury, an official from the Alpine Club told AFP Tuesday.
The climbers —Alastair Swinton and Thomas Livingstone —were trying to scale Koyo Zom, a 6,872 metre (23,000 foot) peak which is the highest in the Hindu Raj, just one of the mountain ranges crisscrossing Pakistan’s north.
They were descending from the summit earlier this week when “Swinton fell down around 30m (roughly 100 feet) in a crevasse”, the rescue team said in a statement.
“Livingstone managed to miraculously pull Alastair out of the crevasse but reported a serious head injury.”
Two other team members, William Sim and John Crook, had reached base camp before the accident; while a fifth member, Uisdean Robertson, was also in base camp, the statement added.
Karrar Haidri, secretary of the Alpine Club of Pakistan, told AFP Tuesday that Swinton had sustained a head injury but was now stable.
A spokesman from the British High Commission in Islamabad said they had been in “close contact” with the rescue team as well as with the climbers´ support teams.
It was the first time foreigners had attempted to climb Koyo Zom since 1968, Haidri and another local official said — though they failed to reach the summit due to bad weather.
Access to the mountain has been restricted for years as the peak is close to the border of Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
However, cricketer-turned-prime-minister Imran Khan´s government has been keen to promote the nation’s tourism potential, with the government claiming it has eased visa restrictions for many foreign visitors.
In May, Hossein Fereydoun was sentenced to an unspecified jail term in a corruption case. — Photo: file
DUBAI: An Iranian court sentenced the brother of President Hassan Rouhani to five years in prison, a judiciary spokesman was quoted as saying on Tuesday by the semi-official Fars news.
In May, Hossein Fereydoun was sentenced to an unspecified jail term in a corruption case that the president’s supporters allege was politically motivated.
Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said Freydoun was jailed for five years but he may face further charges in another case, without giving details, Fars reported.
The price Bayern paid for Hernandez is dwarfed by the world record 220 million euros Paris Saint Germain paid Barcelona for Brazil forward Neymar in August 2017. — Photo: AFP
Lucas Hernandez, the most expensive signing in Bayern Munich´s history, says “unbelievable” fees are currently being paid on the transfer market, putting pressure on the players concerned to justify the astronomical sums.
The 23-year-old 2018 World Cup winner signed for 80 million euros ($87.2 million) from Atletico Madrid and became a Bayern player in July after recovering from knee surgery in March.
The Frenchman cost nearly double the price of Bayern´s previous record signings — Corentin Tolisso, from Lyon in 2017/18 for 41.5 million euros, and Javi Martinez for 40 million euros from Bilbao in 2012/13.
The price Bayern paid for Hernandez is dwarfed by the world record 220 million euros Paris Saint Germain paid Barcelona for Brazil forward Neymar in August 2017.
“Transfer fees have recently become more and more exaggerated. Unbelievable sums are being paid,” Hernandez told broadcaster DAZN.
He has played the full 90 minutes in four of his last seven games and is set to feature when the Bundesliga leaders play Tottenham Hotspur away in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Hernandez says he is obliged to justify the price tag Bayern paid.
“Due to all the trust the club has placed in me with this sum, it is now up to me to pay it back on the pitch and to give my all,” he added.
“One day the club, should also be proud of the fact that they spent this money for me.”
He expects a tough away clash in London against Mauricio Pochettino´s Spurs after helping Bayern win their opening Group B game 3-0 at home to Red Star Belgrade a fortnight ago when Tottenham threw away a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw at Olympiakos.
Striker Robert Lewandowski has scored in each of Bayern´s last eight games, leaving him with 12 goals in nine matches this season, with Philiipe Countinho, on loan from Barcelona, is superbly running Munich´s attack.
“It will be a huge and difficult game for us, but we have good players with high individual quality and we are a great team,” added Hernandez.
Sources said that Shehbaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto also approved to summon an All Parties’ Conference (APC) soon — Geo News screen grab
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz agreed on Tuesday to launch a joint campaign against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government for the sake of the country and nation.
Earlier today, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto met with PML-N Chief Shehbaz Sharif. In the meeting, the two leaders agreed upon formulating a joint strategy along with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl.
Sources said that Shehbaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto also approved to convene an an All Parties’ Conference (APC) soon.
The PPP and PML-N leaders will also offer condolence on the passing of JUI-F leader Maulana Hanif in a recent blast in Chaman, sources added.
The leaders of the two parties spoke to media, following the meeting. PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal said that the government, led by the PTI, destroyed the economy of the country within a year.
Iqbal said that the opposition is ready to launch a joint campaign against the government, adding that the PPP and PML-N leaders will meet the JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman.
In today’s meeting, Yousaf Raza Gillani, Nayyar Bukhari, Sherry Rehman, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Naveed Qamar and Mustafa Nawaz Khokar were also present from the PPP.
ISLAMABAD: As another major initiative facilitating the students in their study process, Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) would make available its text books Online from next semester.
The students who will opt for the online books could be able to get reasonable fees concession.
Meanwhile, the University will continue the existing practice of sending books to its enrolled students by post.
This was decided at Regional Heads conference held through video-conferencing.
Addressing the heads of 49 regional offices, Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Zia-Ul-Qayyum said the University was empowering its 49 regional offices, with additional resources enabling them to handle students-related affairs more efficiently and to its expand academic network.
In order to bring the maximum number of people into the academic network, supporting facilities were being enhanced, he said adding the University was also gradually moving towards automation and Online system to make admission, books mailing and examination process more students friendly.
The regional directors, during day-long deliberations reviewed the ongoing admissions (Autumn 2019) and discussed ways and means to further improve students enrollment in its various programmes.
The conference was also participated by the Deans, who spoke about the new academic programmes introduced from the new semester, autumn 2019.
ISLAMABAD: The Indian Tihar Jail authorities refused to present illegally detained Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik before court in an old fake case registered against him by authorities.
The Tihar Jail authorities on Tuesday expressed their inability to produce Kashmiri leader Muhammad Yasin Malik in a Jammu court, Kahsmir Media Service reported.
Yasin Malik is currently facing trial in a fake case about the killing of four Indian Air Force personnel and kidnapping of Rubaiya Sayeed, the daughter of then Indian Home Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed in 1989-90, and was expected to be presented before court, today.
The Tihar prison authorities told the special TADA court in Jammu that earlier this year, the Ministry of Home Affairs had instructed them not to produce Yasin Malik in any court.
However, Tihar Jail officials have said that they are willing to present JKLF chief Yasin Malik before the court via teleconferencing.