Set­ting in aes­thetic demands

BioSpectrum (India) - - BIO EDIT - Milind Kokje Chief Ed­i­tor [email protected]­

De­spite its very com­mon preva­lence in dif­fer­ent forms, skin dis­or­ders are not dis­cussed much un­like many other dis­eases when it comes to health­care. Prob­a­bly, the rea­son be­ing that they are not life threat­en­ing. Due to the ugly look and preva­lence many a times in non-ex­posed ar­eas of the body, there is a ten­dency to hide them and not to talk about it. But that does not stop, in fact it leads to de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of the dis­ease and its spread. But now grad­u­ally peo­ple are be­com­ing con­scious and seek­ing med­i­cal help.

In a study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of

Ma­hatma Gandhi In­sti­tute of Med­i­cal Sciences in Au­gust 2016, the re­searchers con­cluded that the preva­lence of skin dis­eases was 60 per cent. An­other study pub­lished in the In­ter­na­tional Jour­nal of Med­i­cal Sciences and Pub­lic Health in 2016 about school chil­dren in Medak dis­trict of Te­lan­gana, 75 per cent chil­dren were found af­fected by skin dis­eases. Among them the num­ber was more in girls than boys and ru­ral ar­eas than urban ar­eas. Rel­a­tively a re­cent study of 2002 re­veals that der­ma­to­log­i­cal prob­lems con­sti­tute at least 30 per cent of all out­pa­tient vis­its to a pe­di­a­tri­cian. Still skin dis­or­ders are not much on the radar of the health­care sys­tems. But it speaks loudly for the need to treat the skin dis­eases.

Hence, Drug Con­troller Gen­eral of In­dia’s (DCGI) re­cent ap­proval to con­duct clin­i­cal tri­als and drug de­vel­op­ment for der­ma­tol­ogy, has made cos­metic prod­ucts, plas­tic surgery pro­ce­dures, cos­me­tol­ogy and cos­metic surgery de­vices in In­dia very im­por­tant. The Es­thetic Clin­ics, a chain of der­ma­tol­ogy and plas­tic surgery cen­ters has been given this ap­proval and it is first of its kind.

The ap­proval for clin­i­cal tri­als is sig­nif­i­cant in more ways since for skin dis­eases, cos­me­tol­ogy etc. lo­cal clin­i­cal tri­als are more im­por­tant.

The rea­son be­ing the skin tex­ture is dif­fer­ent in dif­fer­ent re­gions and can re­spond dif­fer­ently to the medicines. Hence it is im­por­tant to con­duct tri­als in the same re­gion and same type of skins where the prod­uct is go­ing to be used than try­ing it some­where else on dif­fer­ent skin tex­ture and then using it some­where else on dif­fer­ent skin.

In plas­tic surg­eries too, In­dia is among the top coun­tries. A sur­vey by the In­ter­na­tional So­ci­ety of Aes­thetic Plas­tic Surgery (ISAPS) has placed In­dia at the fourth rank, af­ter US, Brazil and

South Korea, with 9.35 lakh cos­metic pro­ce­dures con­ducted in 2015. In­ter­est­ingly, 13.5 per cent of these pro­ce­dures are per­formed on pa­tients from US, UK and UAE.

No doubt, this makes In­dia an im­por­tant player in the global skin care in­dus­try that is val­ued at $50 bil­lion and hair for­mu­la­tion mar­ket which is es­ti­mated to be $7 bil­lion. This clearly shows the scope for tri­als in In­dia, mak­ing all the pro­ce­dures safer.

Lo­cal tri­als will help in re­duc­ing the test­ing cost and as a re­sult price of the prod­ucts too mak­ing it more ac­ces­si­ble. Though cur­rently the lo­cal tri­als are not manda­tory, with set­ting up of such clin­i­cal trial cen­tres they could be made manda­tory in fu­ture fur­ther en­sur­ing the safety of the prod­ucts.

When over 13 per cent of its pa­tients in this sec­tor come es­pe­cially to In­dia from abroad, safety is an even more se­ri­ous con­cern from their point of view and hence lo­cal tri­als may pro­vide some ex­tra re­lief over safety issue to these pa­tients from abroad. It may also start fetch­ing more pa­tients from abroad.

But while look­ing at all the ben­e­fits one must not for­get the chal­lenges be­ing faced in conducting all types of clin­i­cal tri­als in In­dia. Due to these chal­lenges cur­rently hardly 1.4 per cent of global clin­i­cal tri­als are con­ducted in In­dia. The global clin­i­cal trial mar­ket is ex­pected to reach $920 bil­lion by 2021. That gives scope to In­dia to en­hance its share in clin­i­cal tri­als mar­ket also. Initiatives like ap­prov­ing der­ma­tol­ogy, cos­metic and plas­tic surgery tri­als may help in in­creas­ing In­dia’s share sub­stan­tially in this area.

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