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22nd April, 2017
Health benefits of implementing taxes on sugar sweetened beverages

A new study published in the journal PLoS Medicine on Tuesday this week has shown that implementing sugar sweetened beverage (SSB) tax works as intended.

In November 2014, Berkeley in California passed the first large (one cent per fluid ounce of sugary drinks paid by beverage distributors) tax on SSBs in the United States. Revenues from the tax were put in the general fund with an advisory committee recommending on how to spend the resources to improve health. 

This 'before-and-after' study by the Public Health Institute and the University of North Carolina evaluated changes in prices, sales, consumer spending and beverage consumption one year after implementation of tax on SSBs in Berkeley, California. The study covered 15.5 million supermarket checkouts plus a before-and-after representative telephone survey of 957 adult residents of Berkeley. The key findings were:
  • The sales (in ounces per transaction) of taxed SSBs significantly declined by 9.6% in the year following implementation in Berkeley, while they rose by 6% in other Bay Area stores without a tax.
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Press Release
The Indian Medical Association calls for stronger laws to eliminate the circulation of spurious and substandard medicines in the country
Writes to its 3 lakh members asking them to extend support towards the Prime Ministers push for Generic Drugs
New Delhi, 21st April, 2017: The Indian Medical Association, the oldest and largest representative organisation of doctors of modern scientific medicine is committed to helping the government in making low price medicines available to the masses. It welcomed Prime Minister Narender Modi's push for generic drugs at a press conference held at the IMA headquarters today. 

IMA feels that to make this a reality, there is a need to address key issues such as increased penetration of spurious and substandard medicines in our country, unauthorized dispensing of generics by chemists as well as lack of dedicated fair price medical shops by the government. 
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