Published on: June 27, 2013

Dear Friends,

Very good news!

Maharashtra becomes the second state in India to have its own palliative care policy. Congratulations, Dr M A Muckaden, Dr Priya Kulkarni and all palliative care workers in Maharashtra for this great achievement.

The work is by no means over, though. In fact, the bulk of it starts now. It is a big task to make sure that this great opportunity is utilized optimally. Let us hope this declaration is followed by a proper system for implementation. Best wishes, all colleagues in Maharashtra.

Dextropropoxyphene banned: Nothing short of a calamity for Indians in pain.

The Indian Palliative care community is aghast at what can only be described as a calamity  The Government of India has banned Dextropropoxyphene.  The axe has fallen on the least expensive step II opioid available for oral use. Any other step II opioid is five times as expensive. 100 mg of Tramadol four times a day would cost twice the daily income that defines the poverty line. Stringent narcotic regulations restrict the availability of oral morphine to a tiny fraction of the needy. What the average Indian could afford and could get is Dextropropoxyphene. The major argument against it seems to be that westerners use it to attempt suicide. This is hardly relevant for India.

The evidence against Dextropropoxyphene is flimsy. Positive scientific evidence is usually available only in favor of expensive drugs because drug research is costly, because 90% of drug research is funded by the Pharmaceutical industry which has little interest in inexpensive drugs and because it suits the interest of the industry if inexpensive drugs are pushed out of the market.

We should not accept this. We have the duty to present the evidence before the authorities and to seek a solution.

GAZETTE Dextropropoxyphene banned

Related article in ehospice

European Union (EU) fines 9 drug companies 146 million Euros for Blocking Cheaper Drugs

As if to underline our points about the Indian ban on Dextropropoxyphene, nine drug manufactuers were fined a total of 146 million euros  by EU antitrust regulators on Wednesday for blocking the supply of a cheaper anti-depressant medicine to the market. This action follows a 2009 report by the European Commission on the pharmaceutical sector, which said “pay-for-delay” deals lead to consumers paying as much as 20% more for their medicines.

The EU action came two days after the U.S. Supreme Court said that U.S. regulators could challenge deals between brand-name drug companies and generic rivals because of the higher consumer costs.

Pay-for-delay agreements involve brand-name firms paying generic companies not to deliver versions of their drugs, which usually cost a fraction of the original medicine, to market, although the issue is also complicated by patent ownership.

Congratulations, Dr Jeremy Johnson MBE.

Dr Jeremy JohnsonDr Jeremy Johnson, 63, from Shrewsbury, has been granted the accolade of MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for services to palliative medicine.

Dr Johnson was one of the original members of staff employed by Severn Hospice in 1989 and retired earlier this year as its medical director.  He and his wife Penny are great friends of Palliative Care in India and have traveled and taught extensively in India.

Congratulations, Jeremy. We are proud to be associated with you.

Dianne Gray assumes office as President of Elisabeth Kubler Ross Foundation

Dianne GrayIf you go to you can read about a mother’s story of pain and love – when her child and she went through many years of suffering. That mother, Dianne Gray has just assumed office as President of Elisabeth Kubler Ross Foundation (

Best wishes to you in your new chair, Dianne, and thank you for all that you are doing for children.

Sevathon 2013: July 14 – Register Now!

Sign up & spread the word!

Sunday 14th July 2013 – 7.30am onwards

Baylands Park, Sunnyvale, CA


Download PDF flyer & register here…

We look forward to seeing you at Sevathon 2013!


The organizing committee of the 21st International Conference of Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPCON 2014) invites all to Odisha to join for the IAPCON 2014. The conference organized by Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre, Cuttack, will be held at KIMS Campus, Bhubaneswar- the capital of Odisha from 14-16 February 2014.

The theme of the conference is “EVIDENCE-BASED PALLIATIVE MEDICINE”. Pre-conference workshops will be held on 13th February 2014.

Address: Organising Secretaries, IAPCCON 2014,  Department Of Anaesthesia, Pain Relief & Palliative Care, AH Regional Cancer Centre, Cuttack 753007, Odisha – Fax No : +91 671 2304683 – Email:,

10th Asia Pacific Hospice Conference


The Online Registration for the 10th Asia Pacific Hospice Conference is open.

Please follow this link to register:

Early bird registration closes on 10 July 2013.

Office +65-62355166 | Fax +65-67250905 | |
Mailing address: Department of Palliative Medicine, National Cancer Centre, 11 Hospital Drive, Singapore 169610 |


Thank you Sofia!

Kuttikkoottam May 2013Please give a thought to children who lost a parent to disease.

Would it not be a privilege to make some of their dreams your own?
Our Kuttikkoottam (Kids’ Kollective) supports education of nearly 200 such children. (Education; not just schooling!).

One of them who passed the 12th class with an A+ in all subjects but one, wants to study for medicine, and we are looking for support for her “entrance coaching classes” for a year including hostel fees – estimated at around US 2000. Three kind people have offered to help. A few more and we shall reach our target!

University of Iowa student Sofia Danziger and friends, working on behalf of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc. – Alpha Chapter and Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Inc.- Alpha Chapter, decided to fund-raise for Pallium India.

Please see:

Sofia and colleagues, you touch our hearts. Thank you.

Why Not Donate? Every little bit helps.

  • $ 5 will pay for Medicines for a week
  • $ 20 = Medicines for a month
  • $ 80 = Schooling support for one child/year
  • $ 500 = Vocational rehabilitation for a family


Don’t forget to sign the Morphine Manifesto!


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