Healthcare online Keeping you up-to-date
VOL.  10     ISSUE:  1    January  2012 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.





P G Dip. Business Management

A. S. M. Shawkat Ali

MBBS, M. Phil





Dear Doctor,

Welcome to this edition of e- SQUARE.

In this issue, we focused on some interesting features like -
Bacterial Meningitis !", "Blood Test After Conception !", "Sharing Insulin Pens !", "GI Tract Bleeding !",  "Breast Cancer !", "Heart Risk In Men !".

In our regular feature, we have some new products information of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd. as well.

Please send your feedback !  We always value your comments !

On behalf of the management of SQUARE, we wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous life.

Click on to reply mode.

Yours sincerely,


Editorial Team

Reply Mode      : e-square@squaregroup.com

The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of its editor or SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

 Bacterial Meningitis !

Vaccine Against Bacterial Meningitis Shows Promise

A new vaccine to protect against meningococcus B, a common cause of bacterial meningitis, shows promise in clinical trials, researchers reported. Vaccines that protect from four other strains of Neisseria meningitides, a bacteria that causes meningococcal disease, are already in use or in the last stages of development, according the investigators. The other strains include A, C, W135 and Y. The new research examined the effectiveness of the vaccine for strain B, which remains a significant source of meningococcal disease. Researchers tested the vaccine called 4CMenB at 12 sites in Chile. More than 1,600 teens aged 11 to 17 were given either one, two or three doses of the vaccine at one-, two- and three-month intervals, or a placebo. After two or three doses, nearly all of the teens had blood test results that indicated they were protected from meningococcus B, compared to 92 to 97 percent of teens who got one dose of the vaccine and 29 to 50 percent who received a placebo. This pivotal study shows that two doses of the novel 4CMenB vaccine separated by 1, 2, or 6 months provide a potentially protective immune response in almost 100 percent of adolescents irrespective of previous antibody status, the study authors said. Researchers pointed out the vaccine had no harmful effects on the teens involved in the trial. They added the amount of protection the vaccine provides will depend on where people live since strains of the bacteria vary and more research is needed to determine how this vaccine will affect other age groups. Further study is needed to provide information about the immunogenicity and tolerability of 4CMenB in various age groups, including infants, who bear the largest disease burden worldwide. Before the 1990s, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis. Today, the Hib vaccine is part of routine pediatric immunizations. 

SOURCE: HealthDay News, January 2012

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 Blood Test After Conception !

Blood Test May Reveal Child's Sex Soon After Conception

New research suggests that a blood test may one day be able to tell expectant mothers the gender of their baby as early as the first trimester. Such a test would be the first of its kind, according to the South Korean researchers. They collected blood samples from more than 200 women in the first trimester of pregnancy and concluded that various ratios of two enzymes called DYS14 and GAPDH in a pregnant woman's blood indicate if a baby will be a girl or a boy. Generally, early fetal gender determination has been performed by invasive procedures such as chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis, said researcher. However, these invasive procedures still carry a one to two percent risk of miscarriage and cannot be performed until 11 weeks of gestation. Moreover, reliable determination of fetal gender using ultrasonography cannot be performed in the first trimester, because the development of external genitalia is not complete, the researcher added. Therefore, this can reduce the need for invasive procedures in pregnant women carrying an X-linked chromosomal abnormality and clarify inconclusive readings by ultrasound, the investigator explained. More research is needed before such tests are widely available. But, this study does show it is possible to predict the sex of a child as early as the first few weeks after conception the researchers added. At present, parents are sometimes given the wrong information about the sex of their unborn child; this test should prove helpful in resolving any uncertainties of today's ultrasound observations. 

SOURCE: HealthDay News, January 2012

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 Sharing Insulin Pens !

CDC Warns Against Sharing Insulin Pens

Due to a growing number of reports about improper use of insulin pens, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a reminder that the devices must never be used on more than one person. Using insulin pens on more than one person puts people at risk for infection with blood-borne pathogens such as hepatitis viruses and HIV, the agency warns. Infection can occur even if an insulin pen's needle is changed. Insulin pens are injector devices that contain a reservoir for insulin or an insulin cartridge. They're designed to enable patients to self-inject insulin and are intended for single-person use. Reports of improper use of insulin pens in hospitals led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2009 to issue an alert for health care professionals to remind them that insulin pens are for use on a single patient only. Despite the alert, there have been continuing reports of patients put at risk through inappropriate reuse and sharing of insulin pens, including an incident last year that required notification of more than 2,000 potentially exposed patients, the CDC said. In the new clinical reminder, the CDC says: a) Insulin pens containing multiple doses of insulin are meant for use on a single patient only and should never be used for more than one person, even when the needle is changed. b) Insulin pens should be clearly labeled with the patient's name or other identifying information to ensure that the correct insulin pen is used only on the correct patient. c) Hospitals and other facilities should review their policies and educate staff regarding safe use of insulin pens and similar devices. d) If re-use of an insulin pen occurs, exposed patients should receive immediate notification and be offered appropriate follow-up, including blood-borne pathogen testing. The recommendations apply to any setting where insulin pens are used, including health care facilities, assisted living or residential care facilities, health fairs, shelters, detention centers, senior centers, schools and camps, the CDC said.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, January 2012

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  GI Tract Bleeding !

Kidney Failure Patients Prone To GI Tract Bleeding

Many kidney failure patients experience bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, a problem that can cause serious health problems and even early death, a new study shows. The researchers said their findings show that more needs to be done to prevent and treat upper GI bleeding-which occurs in the esophagus, stomach or first part of the intestine-in kidney failure patients. They noted that kidney failure patients on dialysis are particularly prone to upper GI bleeding. For this study, the researchers examined data from nearly 1 million patients in the U.S. Renal Data System, which collects information on most of the dialysis patients in the country. The analysis revealed that rates for upper GI bleeding were either 57 or 328 episodes per 1,000 kidney failure patients per year, according to stringent and lenient definitions of what qualifies as upper GI bleeding. That's more than 10 times higher than the general population, according to the American Society of Nephrology. The study also found that nearly 12 percent of kidney failure patients who had upper GI bleeding died within a month of bleeding, but there was a significant decline in the death rate from 12 percent (1998) to 10.5 percent (2007). Despite that decline-which may be due to improvements in medical care-the dangers of upper GI bleeding in kidney failure patients remain a substantial issue, said the researchers. 

SOURCE: HealthDay News, January 2012

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 Breast Cancer !

Study Hints That Statins Might Fight Breast Cancer

Statins-cholesterol-lowering drugs-might also play a role in preventing or treating certain types of cancer, new research sheds some light on how these drugs may help stop breast cancer in its tracks among certain women. The p53 tumor suppressor gene stops the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells, but some women with breast cancer have mutant forms of this gene. In the new study, when the mutant p53 cells were treated in the laboratory with statins, the cells stopped their erratic growth and even died in some cases. It seems that the mutated p53 genes may activate the same pathway that the statins inhibit-the mevalonate pathway, the study suggests. The mevalonate pathway is important in the body's production of cholesterol. The study is adding the possibility that there may be classes of breast cancer patients who will respond better to statins than others, said the author, but noted that this research is far away from the bedside. By understanding better what sort of cells would respond to statins, one might have a better idea of whether or not to consider using them, researcher said. The next step could be a trial of statins in women with breast cancer who have a mutated copy of the p53 gene. The mutated protein stimulates the mevalonate pathway. Statins, drugs that are widely used to lower cholesterol levels, block a key step in the mevalonate pathway, explained an investigator. The new results may well give new momentum to the use of statins as anti-cancer agents. Other investigators also intrigued by the potential of the new findings. This paper addresses a possible new target for therapeutic agents based on a well-known tumor suppressor gene that is common in many cancers. Identifying novel pathways that lead to tumor formation is the first step to developing new drugs that can specifically target some of the complex mechanisms that contribute to the development of cancer, researchers added.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, January 2012

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 Heart Risk In Men !

'Upper Normal' Blood Pressure Linked To Heart Risk In Men

Middle-aged men with blood pressure in the upper-normal range are at increased risk for atrial fibrillation later in life, researchers say. Atrial fibrillation-which affects more than 2.7 million Americans-is a heart rhythm disorder that can lead to stroke and other heart-related complications. High blood pressure is a known risk factor for atrial fibrillation. Previous research has shown that women with blood pressure in the upper end of the normal range are at increased risk for atrial fibrillation. This study looked at whether the same was true in men. In the new study, Norwegian researchers analyzed data from more than 2,000 men aged 40 to 59 who had their blood pressure measured at the start of the study and were followed for up to 35 years. During the follow-up, 270 (13 percent of the men) developed atrial fibrillation. U.S. guidelines define high blood pressure as systolic pressure at 140 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher and diastolic pressure at 90 mm Hg or higher. Pre-hypertension is a systolic pressure of 120 to 139 mm Hg and a diastolic pressure from 80 to 89 mm Hg. Men with high systolic blood pressure at the start of the study were 60 percent more likely to develop atrial fibrillation during follow-up than those with normal systolic blood pressure. Men with upper-normal levels of systolic blood pressure (128 to 138 mm Hg) were 50 percent more likely to develop atrial fibrillation than those with normal systolic blood pressure (below 128 mm Hg), the investigators reported. Investigators found, men with a diastolic of 80 mm Hg or higher at the start of the study were 79 percent more likely to develop atrial fibrillation than those with diastolic blood pressure below 80 mm Hg (normal). On average, atrial fibrillation developed 20 years after the start of the study. 

SOURCE: HealthDay News, January 2012

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New Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  Product Revira 
  Generic Name Valaciclovir
  Strength 1 gm
  Dosage form Tablet
  Therapeutic Category Antivirals
  Product Epinal
Generic Name


Strength 200 mg/ml
Dosage form Injection
Therapeutic Category Antiepileptic
  Product Bisocor Plus
  Generic Name Bisoprolol Fumarate Hydrochlorothiazide
  Strength 2.5 mg 6.25 mg, 5 mg 6.25 mg
  Dosage form Tablet
  Therapeutic Category Beta Blocker Diuretic Combination

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