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Archive for July 2009


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Recent telecast of TV series depicts peer pressure for smoking among minors; influence attributed to filmstars’ smoking in movies

Onscreen smoking has been repeatedly proven to influence smoking behaviour among adolescents. In a new development, the influence of onscreen smoking on the big screen has been replicated on the small screen as well. In a telecast of a highly viewed TV series on the evening of 28th July, one particular scene actually depicted a minor influencing another minor to initiate smoking, citing examples of film stars doing so in the movies as a mark of style and care-free living. Although actual smoking has not been depicted in the scene portrayed, there was a pack shot of the cigarette brand which itself is a clear reflection and acceptance of the fact that onscreen smoking does have an influence on adolescent smoking behaviour. The serial in question has already created a controversy due to its subject matter in last few weeks.


Speaking on the issue, Dr. P.C. Gupta, Director, Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health, said, “It has been proven through numerous studies and research conducted across multiple geographies that onscreen smoking clearly does influence the youth – especially adolescents to smoke whether it is portrayed positively or negatively to initiate smoking. This issue has been very conveniently put on the backburner even by the Union Health Minister through his recent comments of onscreen smoking counting as ‘artistic freedom’. But the truth is that in a country such as ours, there is a large population of youth who are exposed everyday to movies and television series, and it is these adolescents who stand to be encouraged by depiction of smoking on screen.”      


In a recent study conducted in the US by the American Academy of Pediatrics to determine exposure to movie smoking in relation to smoking initiation among US adolescents, prevalence of smoking was seen to be about 2% among those with the lowest exposure to smoking in movies, steadily going up to almost 30% among those with highest exposure. This study clearly demonstrates the association between onscreen smoking exposure reflecting on smoking initiation among adolescents. In fact, the study further suggests that exposure to movie smoking is a primary independent risk factor, accounting for smoking initiation in more than one-third of US adolescents, 10 to 14 years of age.


Another point to be noted regarding the scene depicted on the TV show is the content that is used to portray the negative character influencing the positive character to smoke. The dialogues used in the scene speak of how it is acceptable to smoke, as onscreen actors also smoke to relieve their tension and it adds to their style. Although this is not a clear depiction of smoking on screen, it is still a potentially powerful motivator for adolescents viewing the show to believe that it is actually acceptable to smoke, and subsequently initiating smoking without any knowledge of the health risks involved. It should also be realized that the pack shot is in effect advertisement of a brand. This possibility is justified by further research – through another survey conducted among 6000+ US adolescents, it was observed that 13.7% of the respondents actually started smoking after being exposed to positive characters smoking in a random sample of movies.


In light of so many such conclusive research reports, it is definitely essential for the authorities to recognize the fact that onscreen smoking and adolescent exposure to the same have a significant impact on smoking behaviour – and subsequently the numerous health risks that arise from such exposure. These research reports further highlight the need for strict government action to curb the depiction of onscreen smoking – be it in the movies or on television.


Written by sreelakshmi

30 July, 2009 at 11:03 pm

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Lupin Net Profit up by 25 % in Q1, FY 2009-10

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Outpacing and Outperforming Markets globally


Leading transnational pharmaceutical major Lupin, reported an outstanding performance for the first quarter – FY 2009-10. These audited results were taken on record by the Board of Directors at a meeting held in Mumbai today.


Key Financial & Performance Highlights


  • Net sales grew by 26% to Rs. 10,856 million for Q1 FY 2009-10, from Rs. 8,623 million (Q1 FY 08-09)


  • Net profits for Q1 FY 2009-10 grew by 25% to Rs. 1401 million as compared to Rs 1120 Mn. (Q1 FY 2008-09)


  • Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) grew by 25% to Rs. 2152 Mn. for Q1, FY 2009-10, from Rs. 1728 Mn. (Q1 FY 08-09). Margins remain consistent at 20%


Commenting on Lupin’s performanceDr. Kamal K Sharma, Managing Director, Lupin Limited, said, “On the back of our strong performance over the last 13 quarters, built on innovative market strategies and also our consistent focus on targeting niche therapy segments and developing difficult-to-make products,Lupin today, has the unique distinction of being the fastest growing company amongst  the Top 10 players in the Generics markets of U.S, Japan, India and South Africa and it also continues to outpace and outperform the Industry therein. This quarter, in keeping with our consistent track record, Lupin has clocked in an impressive and steady rise of 26 % in the Top-line and 25 % in the bottom-line. We now aim to consolidate on the gains made over the past three years to create the foundation to maintain momentum and scale higher orbits of growth.”


Balance Sheet Highlights


  • Net Working capital reduced by Rs. 610 Mn. to Rs. 10,778 Mn. as on 30th June 09 against Rs. 11,388 Mn. as on 31st March 09, despite a 26% increase in net sales reflecting optimization on the working capital front.
  • Capital Expenditure during the Quarter – Rs. 1525 Mn.
  • Debt Equity Ratio improved to 0.47 as on 30th June 2009 from 0.62 as on 31st March 2009.
  • FCCB conversions happening at a faster pace.


Profit & Loss Highlights

  • Material cost remained constant at 43% of Net Sales at Rs. 4676 Mn. during the quarter as against Rs. 3720 Mn. (Q1 2008-09).
  • Personnel cost remained constant at 12% of Net Sales at Rs. 1315 Mn. during the quarter as against Rs. 1014 Mn. (Q1 2008-09).
  • Selling, General and Administrative costs reduced by 0.5% to 26.9% of Net Sales at Rs. 2923 Mn. during the quarter as against Rs. 2363 Mn. (Q1 2008-09).
  • Taxation reduced to 20% in Q1 2009-10 against 22% in Q1 2008-09 amounting to Rs. 364 Mn. against Rs. 313 Mn.
  • Revenue Expenditure on R&D amounts to Rs. 685 Mn., 6.3% to Net sales as against Rs. 477 Mn., 5.5% to Net Sales (Q1 FY 08-09)




Operational Highlights


  • Advanced markets Formulation sales (including US, Europe & Japan) increased 41 % to Rs. 4858 Mn. during Q1, FY 2009-10, from Rs. 3450 Mn. (Q1 FY 08-09). It contributed 45 % of the Net Sales for the Quarter.


  • Formulation Sales  in US and EU grew by 40 % to Rs 3551 million, Q1, FY 2009-10, from Rs. 2530 Mn., (Q1, FY 2008-09).


  • Lupin remains the fastest growing generic players in the US by prescriptions and the 9th largest in terms of overall prescription base


  • Ranks in the Top 3, in 18 out of 22 generic products in the US market with market leadership (No 1) in 8 of these products. (IMS)


  • Overall EU Formulation Sales including Hormosan grew by 101% to Rs. 413 Mn., during Q1, FY 2009-10, up from Rs. 206 Mn. (Q1, FY 2008-09)


  • Lupin’s Japanese subsidiary, Kyowa contributed 12 % of the overall revenues. Recording an Impressive Growth of 42 % to Rs. 1307 million, Q1, FY 2009-10 from Rs. 920 Mn. (Q1, FY 2008-09)


  • Net Sales of India Region Formulations grew by 22% to Rs. 3444 million for Q1, FY 2009-10 as compared to Rs. 2834 million (Q1 FY 2008-09).


  • South Africa sales grew to Rs. 301 Mn. during Q1, FY 2009-10 representing a growth of over 40% over Q1 2008-09.


Operational Summary


USA & Europe


Lupin continues to maintain its upward growth momentum in the US & European Markets with it contributing a healthy 33% to total revenues. Sales (Formulations) for US & Europe grew by 40 % to Rs. 3551 Mn. from Rs. 2530 Mn. (Q1 FY 08-09).




Quarter 1, also saw Lupin expand its Brand Business in U.S with the acquisition of the worldwide rights for the intra-nasal steroid (INS) product, AllerNaze™ (triamcinolone acetonide, USP) Nasal Spray, 50mcg from Collegium Pharmaceutical, Inc. The INS market generated $ 2.5 Billion in annual sales in United States alone (IMS data).


Lupin is in the Top 3 in 18 out of 22 of its generic products in the market, out of which 8 are market leaders (IMS).



USFDA Approvals


Lupin received the final approvals for two of the Company’s Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). The approvals received were for –


  • Levofloxacin tablets 250 mg, 500 mg and 750 mg dosage strengths.


  • and Ethambutol Hydrochloride Tablets USP, 100 mg and 400 mg.



The company now has a total of 91 ANDA filings, of which 35 have been approved by the USFDA.




The Formulations revenues from EU Markets reported a growth of 101 % recording sales of Rs 413 Mn. during Q1, 2009-10 as against Rs. 206 Mn. (Q1, FY 2008-09)








Lupin continues to outpace the generics market in Japan through its subsidiary, Kyowa. In Q1 09-10, Kyowa registered a phenomenal growth of 42 % to record Net Sales at Rs. 1307 Mn., as against Rs. 920 Mn., Q1 2008-09. It contributed 12% to Lupin’s overall revenues.


Indian Region Formulation


India forms a very important part of Lupin overall growth, and contributed 32 % to its overall revenues during Q1, FY 2009-10. The India Formulations grew by 22 % to clock in revenues of 3444 Mn. during Q1, FY 2009-10, as compared to Rs. 2834 Mn. for Q1 2008-09. Branded Formulation sales grew by 24% from Rs. 2336 Mn. to Rs. 2896 Mn.


South Africa


Lupin’s South African Business – Pharma Dynamics clocked in revenues of 301 Mn. during Q1, FY 2009-10 representing a growth rate of over 40%.




API (Net) sales (Including Novodigm) were at Rs 1752 Mn. for Q1 FY 2009-10 versus Rs. 1966 Mn. for Q1 Fy 2008-09. The emphasis as in the past was on value added formulation business.



Revenue Expenditure on R&D amounts to Rs. 685 Mn., 6.3% to Net sales as against Rs. 477 Mn., 5.5% to Net Sales in Q1 FY 08-09. Lupin’s cumulative ANDA filings with the USFDA rose to 91 with the company having received 35 approvals to date. Cumulative Filings with the European regulatory authorities stands at 53 with the company having received 22 approvals to date.

Written by sreelakshmi

30 July, 2009 at 10:59 pm

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Piramal Healthcare Reports Q1 FY2010 Results

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Piramal Healthcare Limited (PHL) (NSE: PIRHEALTH, BSE: 500302) today reported first

quarter (Q1) results for FY2010.

Total Operating Income on consolidated basis for the quarter ended 30 June 2009 was up by 16.0% to Rs. 8.2

billion over Q1FY2009. Operating Profit increased by 34.0% to Rs. 1.6 billion, Operating Profit Margin for the

quarter was up to 19.5% in Q1FY2010 from 16.9% in Q1FY2009. Net Profit for the quarter was up by 25.0% to

Rs. 851.0 million. Earnings Per Share (EPS) for the quarter was up by 24.8% to Rs. 4.1 as compared to Rs. 3.3

for Q1FY2009.

During the quarter, the Healthcare Solutions (Domestic Formulations) division reported strong growth of 25.6% as

compared to industry growth rate of 13.3% (Source: ORG IMS) and had revenue of Rs. 4.4 billion. PHL grew

particularly well in the Respiratory, Dermatology, Anti-diabetic and Anti-infective therapy areas. During the

quarter, the company has launched 9 new products. On a MAT basis, PHL is the number 1 company for new

product introductions. (Source: ORG IMS)

The Company’s Pharma Solutions (Custom Manufacturing) sales was Rs. 1.9 billion during Q1FY2010 as

compared to Rs. 2.3 billion for Q1FY2009. Pharma Solutions revenues from facilities in India grew during

Q1FY2010 by 2.1% to Rs. 601.5 million. The Company continues to adhere to highest standards of quality in

manufacturing. During the quarter, the Company’s manufacturing sites at Pithampur in India and Morpeth in UK

were inspected by the USFDA and have been cleared without any 483s. The Company’s manufacturing facility at

Pithampur has qualified for Frost & Sullivan’s “Asia Manufacturing Excellence Award 2009” in the Platinum


Global Critical Care business grew by 352.7% to Rs. 728.8 million. The operations of Minrad International, a

company which was acquired in Q4FY09 has been integrated completely with Piramal Healthcare. Minrad has

registered sales of US $ 9.6 million for the quarter as compared US $ 23.0 million for full year of 2008.

Written by sreelakshmi

23 July, 2009 at 10:31 pm

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Bajaj Allianz stars with Saif Ali Khan for inviting you to share your “Jiyo Befikar” moments in his much awaited film “Love Aaj Kal”

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Jiyo Befikar”, is the message that actor Saif Ali Khan is conveying to people across all age groups through the latest “Bajaj Allianz – Love Aaj Kal” Co branded TVC Campaign cum contest. Bajaj Allianz has tied up with the upcoming Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone starrer Love Aaj Kal to spread the message of security & fearlessness amongst all age groups. The winners will get a chance to meet Saif Ali Khan in person. This TVC Campaign which is penned by Gulzaar Sahab is sung by Sukhwinder and has its music composed by Vishal Bardwaj. The campaign conceptualized & ideated by P9 is currently running in 25 channels.


Saif Ali Khan will be releasing his maiden home production Love Aaj Kal shortly and is looking to hear love stories from his fans across age groups straight from their heart in sync with the movie. The comfort zone between Saif and Deepika in the movie epitomizes how security can bring you

happiness and comfort, which is the message Bajaj Allianz is looking to drive to its customers through its on-going ‘Jiyo Befikar’ campaign.


The contest is open to everyone who would like to share their love stories by logging on to – They can narrate their love stories, upload pictures of loved ones and even be eligible for the “Jiyo Befikar” moments of the week which entitles them to win loads of prizes and gifts.


Bajaj Allianz’s Campaign Jiyo Befikar highlights the fact that when you know there is some one to protect you, you can enjoy a carefree life “Jiyo Nidar”.


An interactive half an hour AFP (Advertiser Funded Programme) will also be aired on NDTV Imagine with Saif & Deepika talking about the film and discussing their thoughts on fearless and carefree moments in the film and life.


Commenting on this association, Akshay Mehrotra, Head Marketing, Bajaj Allianz Life said, “In a country where Bollywood is nothing short of a religion, here is a unique opportunity to combine a reel love story with your real love story. Not all great love stories can make it to the silver screen and so we at Bajaj Allianz thought of giving the Indian viewers a chance to share their true love stories and win a dream chance to meet Saif”.


Pritie Jadhav, Head – Branding, P9 Integrated, a division of Percept Ltd, said, “For Bajaj Allianz, this association helps them transform the way they want to communicate with its audience. The brand fit between them not only symbolizes but also reinforces the security, safety and care freeness messaging that they both exhuber. This affiliation will definitely help Bajaj Allianz enhance its brand recall and imagery and give the common man opportunities for instant gratifications.”


Written by sreelakshmi

23 July, 2009 at 10:25 pm

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This is really unfortunate 

Tobacco manufacturers still not uniformly implementing pictorial warnings on tobacco products; gross violation of law on Pictorial Warnings


Nearly two months after the enforcement of the law on pictorial warnings on tobacco products, which came into effect on 31st May 2009, leading tobacco companies in the country manufacturing gutka and other forms of chewable tobacco are violating the law. In a sampling study done across various locations in Mumbai, it has been seen that gutka companies have implemented extremely watered down warnings, none of which cover 40% of the package area on one side, as specified in the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008.  


Speaking regarding the issue, Dr. P. C. Gupta, Director, Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health, said, “The pictorial warnings notification was implemented as a significant measure towards better public health, by highlighting the dangers of tobacco use through these warnings. These recent findings are therefore gravely disappointing, and they clearly show the government’s apathy towards the cause of public health. The warnings recommended earlier were delayed and diluted several times and now, that they have been implemented the tobacco companies are not following the specifications as per the notification.  It is extremely disappointing that the government is not taking any action towards this.”


The results of the sample study in ten different tobacco brands conducted in Mumbai by the Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health show that many brands are violating the requirement of 40% size by a wide margin as the area of the one side warnings barely cover 6% to 30% of the package. Another noticeable drawback is that the written warning in some of the products is only in English, – which is completely against the law as it requires warnings at least in one Indian language in addition to English.


Emboldened by the government’s lack of firmness on this issue, most of the tobacco companies, who have historically had a strong pro-tobacco lobbying effort with the government, have simply chosen to grossly dilute the implementation of the pictorial warnings. This is a serious breach in the enforcement of the law, and shows continued negligence and apathy towards the issue by the government. This is a clear threat to public health, and it is the obligation of the government to monitor and address this issue with the strongest measures possible. The tobacco companies ought to stop taking the law for granted and putting the lives of millions at stake.


Written by sreelakshmi

23 July, 2009 at 10:22 pm

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Stark figures on smoking initiation after exposure to onscreen smoking, reveals US survey

In another step towards proving that onscreen smoking does have a definite negative impact on adolescent, and a villain’s smoking makes even more impact than a hero’s smoking; two studies were published recently from the USA.

A study to determine exposure to movie smoking in relation to smoking initiation among US adolescents was conducted by random–digital-dial survey on 6522 adolescents aged 10 to 14 years. Prevalence of smoking was about 2% among those with the lowest exposure to smoking in movies, steadily going up to almost 30% among those with highest exposure.

This study demonstrates, in a nationally representative US sample of young adolescents, that exposure to movie smoking has a strong association with smoking initiation and that the association holds within broad racial and ethnic categories and regardless of where the adolescent resides. It also suggests that, exposure to movie smoking is a primary independent risk factor, accounting for smoking initiation in more than one-third of US adolescents 10 to 14 years of age.

In light of the recent unfortunate comments made by the Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad that smoking in movies has little effect on children, these studies provide definite proof that exposure to smoking in films does impact the youth and influence them to initiate smoking.

In another longitudinal, random-digit-dial telephone survey of 6522 US adolescents, conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, current smoking status and movie exposure was assessed 4 times over 24 months. The adolescents surveyed were asked whether they had seen any recently released movies, in which smoking by major characters was identified, along with the type of portrayal. The portrayal was divided into negative, positive, and mixed/neutral categories.

By the 24-month follow-up survey, 15.9% of the baseline never-smokers had tried smoking. Within the sample of movies selected, 3848 major characters were identified, of whom 69% were male. Smokers represented 22.8% of 518 negative characters, 13.7% of 2486 positive characters, and 21.1% of 844 mixed/neutral characters.

The study clearly shows that smoking in movies and impacts adolescent smoking initiation – regardless of character type, which demonstrates the importance of limiting exposure to smoking as it is portrayed on screen. In fact, the study has also shown that negative character portrayals of smoking have stronger impact on low risk-taking adolescents; undercutting the often-repeated argument that smoking by villain in a film is ok.

“These are just some of the multitude of studies that have been, and are being conducted internationally that prove that depiction of smoking in films does have definite impact on the smoking behaviour of youth across geographies,” said Dr. P.C.Gupta, Director, Healis – Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health. “In light of such conclusive research reports, it is essential for the authorities to recognize the health risks that such exposure creates, and take necessary action to see to it that smoking in films is banned. The urban and semi-urban youth in India are either avid moviegoers or watch movies at home, and when they see their favourite stars on screen, whether hero or villain, they try and emulate this by beginning to smoke themselves. By curbing scenes which depict smoking in movies, a lot can be accomplished in preventing initiation smoking among youth” he added.

In India today, the movie-watching population – especially among adolescents – is in the millions, and since it is proven that any depiction of smoking on-screen has the ability to impact these young moviegoers and influence them to initiate smoking, the authorities need to take immediate steps to curb such on-screen depiction of smoking, and not pass such depictions in the name of ‘creative freedom, as is being done today.

Written by sreelakshmi

17 July, 2009 at 6:06 am

Customized lens for Indian eyes from Essilor

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Essilor India Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of Essilor International has recently launched VARILUX INDIA, a revolutionary eyewear for the 40 plus age group. Designed and engineered specifically for Indian eyes, Varilux India comes in a complete range of materials and options. These spectacle lenses have been created after extensive research on Indian facial and optical requirements. Essilor’s patented precise calculations and processing system ensure a customised fit for the Indian eye.

To recognize the rich cultural heritage of India a brand identification symbol has been engraved on the Varilux lens as a mark of respect to the people of this country. Essilor has been in India for more than a decade and has understood the specific spectacle needs of Indians. Essilor setup an R&D centre in Singapore to cater to the needs of the region’s spectacle users and devise solutions to meet these needs.

 Committed to stay at the forefront of innovation to provide perfect vision to spectacle users, there are 2 distinct advantages that Essilor enjoys in fulfilling its mission:

o       It’s in depth understanding of user characteristics: Eye Anatomy, Facial Anatomy, and Ergonomics.

o       And secondly its patented 360 design and digital surfacing optimization.

This unique combination, together with our close partnership with regional institutions and eye care professionals enables Essilor to offer Indian spectacle users a new range of customised lenses.

The user benefits could be summed up as follows:

  • 30% improved contrast and sharpness
  • Improved comfort in accessing near vision
  • 30% wider field of vision
  • Additional benefits according to various Varilux designs
  • Quick adaptation
  • Overall satisfaction in daily activities and whatever the distance



Written by sreelakshmi

17 July, 2009 at 4:52 am

Posted in Uncategorized