NASSCOM calls for police enquiry into the illegal sale of medical records
 
NASSCOM has called for a speedy police enquiry into the case of alleged illegal sale of private medical records through IT companies in India. The case was busted in a sting operation by a British television news channel. “It is vital that medical records and other sensitive data are kept secure and confidential.  There can be absolutely no compromise on this point. The Tonight programme has highlighted a case in which it seems that some data from the London Clinic has fallen into criminal hands.  We are calling for a speedy police inquiry and for robust sanctions to be taken against any criminal,” said a statement released by NASSCOM on the issue.
 
“Given the scale of movement of data in the globalised world, incidents such as what has happened are stray incidents that are not reflective of the industry as a whole. Security is and will remain our number one priority. India has established an excellent international reputation and we will not allow this to be compromised at any cost,” the statement further said.
 
As per the findings of the sting operation, medical records sent for computerisation to Indian IT companies were sold illegally in the black market. The files were sold by two men who claimed to have gained access to the information from IT companies. Thousands of medical files from top private hospitals in Britain are outsourced for computerisation to India every year.
 
A number of these files, which contain personal details of the patient’s health, name age and address are for sale in the black market, for prices as low as $4 each. The two men caught on camera involved in the black marketing, claim to have access to thousand more such files.
 
The documentary says there is a market for the records because unscrupulous companies want to sell insurance and prescription drugs to vulnerable patients. The news presenters for that particular sting operation too had approached the two salesmen, as marketing executives for health products
- Amritha Pillay  [email protected]
 
 
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First past the post
Suven Life Science’s focussed approach on drug discovery in the central nervous system (CNS) is helping it make more headway than any other research company in the drug industry. Suven has recently secured a product patent for its new molecule SUVN-502 from India, Mexico, South Africa, Singapore, New Zealand, South Korea, Australia and Europe. SUVN-502 has completed phase I studies and is entering into phase II stage of clinical research. This molecule is a clinical candidate for Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia and can corner a major market share in the $110-billion CNS therapy arena. Global CNS therapies include anti-psychotic, anti-depressant, anti-epileptic and auto-immune drugs accounting for $22.8 billion ($14.69 billion in 2004), $ 20.3 billion ($20.64 billion in 2004), $16.9 billion ($11.57 billion in 2004) and $15.9 billion ($ 6.7 billion in 2004) market size respectively in 2008.
 
The company spends around 25% of sales on drug discovery which is one of the highest among drug companies. Industy’s average R&D expenditure is around 4% of total sales. The company spent Rs 35 crore on drug research in 2008-09 including Rs 29 crore in recurring expenditure. The company is doing research in six CNS categories targeting conditions such as ADHD, dementia, depression, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and obesity.
- Dhruv Rathi [email protected]
 
 
 
 
 
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Real estate developers jack up prices despite a pile-up of inventories
Despite a much improved market scenario, real estate inventories are piling up with builders. Undeterred, they are launching new projects. In the second quarter of this financial year (Q2 FY10) inventories have gone up by 20%. Last quarter (Q1 FY10) the inventories in six cities (Mumbai, NCR Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad) were a total of 2,82,999 units.
 
“From October onwards you will again see a drop in price of properties by 15%-20% as the developers have lot of inventories logged up. On top of that, they are increasing prices, encouraged by a more buoyant market,” said Pankaj Kapoor, founder and chief executive officer, Liases Foras, a property research firm.
 
In Mumbai as many as 68,000 units are unsold. In NCR Delhi it is 70,000 units, Bengaluru has 48,000 unsold units, Pune has 44,000 unsold units, Chennai has unsold units of 21,000 and Hyderabad has 31,999 unsold units.
 
Thanks to a slight recovery in the real estate sector, most of the builders increased prices by 10%-20% which has subdued sales. “In Pune, around 200 new projects have been further launched between June 2009–September 2009. We are foreseeing the same kind of situation across the six cities,” said Mr Kapoor.
 
During Dushera to Diwali most of the developers launch new projects. The inventories are increasing sharply and to reduce the inventories, the developers have to cut down on the prices and make their properties more affordable for the masses.
 
In Mumbai, properties beyond Borivali, were selling at Rs 2,000 per sq ft. The left-over properties are now priced at Rs 2,800 per sq ft. In central Mumbai properties sold at Rs 13,475 per sq ft, but the left-over properties are now priced at Rs 24,950 per sq ft. “Until developers do not bring down prices, properties are not going to sell,” said Mr Kapoor.
- Pallabika Ganguly [email protected]
 
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