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Reframing Societal Views on Harm Reduction: A Medical and Scientific Perspective.
4th Edition of The Economic Times Consumer Freedom Conclave
Harm reduction covers policies and practices seeking to protect health and reduce social harms of people and communities who use illicit and licit drugs. It recognizes the fact that many individuals dealing with addiction and substance use find it hard to remain abstinent, thus harm reduction provides an option for people to engage with peers, medical and social services, without being judged and discriminated. It primarily focuses on protecting human rights and improving public health.

Some harm reduction strategies include syringe exchange programs, safer injection facilities, and overdose prevention programs. In 2021, Harm Reduction International (a nongovernmental organization) reported that a total of 98 countries have “supportive references to harm reduction in national policy documents.”

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At The Economic Times Consumer Freedom Conclave, the deliberations will see top business leaders, academicians and policymakers from around the industry gather to discuss to Reframing Societal Views on Harm reduction: A Medical and Scientific perspective.

Overview

Consumer Freedom Conference
Objective
To drive discussion & debate on the subject of consumer freedom and choice via credible, independent third party led advocacy


AGENDA

May 31, 2022

10:00 – 10:05
Welcome Address by ET Edge
10:10 – 10:40
Panel Discussion: Enabling the Shift to Less Harmful Alternatives – Evidence-based policy recommendations

Talking Points:

  • Practices that aim to minimize the negative societal impacts associated with substance abuse.
  • Replacement therapy - what sort of risk reduction strategies have proven particularly effective?
  • Electronic cigarettes – in the view of life-saving interventions
  • Evidence-based policymaking and blanket bans
  • Indian Government’s goal to reduce tobacco usage by 2030 in absence of widespread harm reduction awareness

David T. Sweanor J.D., Faculty of Law and Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics, University of Ottawa, Canada

Dr. Kiran Melkote, Orthopaedic surgeon based in Delhi, India, and a member of AHRER - Association for Harm Reduction, Education and Research

Dr. K Madan Gopal, Senior Consultant (Health), NITI Aayog - National Institute for Transforming India

Sharifa Ezat Wan Puteh, Professor of Hospital Management and Health Economics, Deputy Dean (Relation & Wealth Creation), Faculty of Medicine, UKM Medical Centre; Previous Head of International Centre for Casemix and Clinical Coding (ITCC), UKM Medical Centre, Malaysia

Moderator: Rini Simon Khanna, Former TV & Radio News Anchor, Media Person, Voice of the Metros

10:45 – 11:15
Panel Discussion: Empowering Community Engagement – Creating consumer-friendly regulatory frameworks

Talking Points:

  • The devastating health, social, environmental, and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and how alternative products can help.
  • Are safe alternative products, generally plagued by inadequate or ineffective policies?
  • Demystifying harm reduction philosophy towards achieving mass adoption.
  • How should policymakers be evaluating harm reduction strategies from an investment versus outcome perspective?
  • Assessing the effectiveness of messaging efforts by the Government such as “Jago Grahak Jago”

Prof. Bejon Kumar Misra, International Consumer Policy Expert, Honorary Professor at the National Law University Odisha, Cuttack

Prof Dr. Nimesh G Desai, Senior Consultant in Psychiatry, and former Director IHBAS

Samrat Chowdhery, Director, Association of Vapers India (AVI) and past President of International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organizations (INNCO)

Yashaswini Basu, Nyaaya's Outreach Lead, Vidhi

Dr. Farrukh Khan, Advocate, Partner - Diwan Advocates

Moderator: Rini Simon Khanna, Former TV & Radio News Anchor, Media Person, Voice of the Metros

11:20 – 11:40
Keynote Address

Robert Beaglehole, Professor Emeritus of the University of Auckland and chairs ASH – Action for Smokefree Aotearoa and the Lancet NCD Action Group

11:40 – 11:45
Closing Note
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SPEAKERS

Prof. Bejon Kumar Misra

Prof. Bejon Kumar Misra

International Consumer Policy Expert, Honorary Professor at the National Law University Odisha, Cuttack

David T. Sweanor J.D

David T. Sweanor J.D

Chair of the Advisory Board, Centre for Health Law, Policy & Ethics, University of Ottawa Adjunct Professor Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, Global Leadership Council, Boston University School of Public Health

Adv. Farrukh Khan

Adv. Farrukh Khan

Advocate, Partner, Diwan Advocates

Dr. Kiran Melkote

Dr. Kiran Melkote

Orthopaedic surgeon based in Delhi, India and member of AHRER – Association for Harm Reduction, Education and Research

Dr. Kiran Melkote is an Orthopaedic Surgeon working as Associate Consultant in Fortis Bone and Joint Institute at Fortis Memorial Research Institute. With a wide clinical experience of 9 years to his credit, Dr. Melkote has been associated with prestigious organizations like Manipal Hospitals, Bangalore and Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon. He has wide-ranging interests including educational activities, teaching and research in Orthopaedic surgery as well as additional interests in Harm Reduction as a tool for Public Health. He has been actively involved in promoting Tobacco Harm Reduction in India. His other interests include boxing, music, world history, linguistics and fiction.

Work Experience

Plastic Surgery Registrar at Manipal Hospitals, Bangalore. Orthopaedic Registrar at Columbia Asia Hospitals, Gurgaon. Associate Consultant at Columbia Asia Hospitals, Gurgaon. Consultant at Columbia Asia Hospitals, Gurgaon

Professional Memberships
Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh – Affiliate Member. Association of Harm Reduction, Education and Research

Education and Fellowships
MBBS, M.S. Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore, India. MS (Orthopaedics) Manipal Hospital, Bangalore – affiliated to Kathmandu University Nepal

Specialty Interests
Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine. Hand injuries. Arthroplasty and Joint Replacements. Wound management

Dr. Lorenzo Mata Jr

Dr. Lorenzo Mata Jr

President, Quit For Good

President, Quit For Good, a non-profit, non-stock organization promoting harm reduction as a compassionate strategy to mitigate the damage and loss tobacco cigarettes have brought to society, A recognised Harm Reduction Expert in the Philippines, serving as a resource speaker in local and international Harm Reduction forums and in the Philippine Senate and House of Representatives. Dr. Mata has significantly contributed to the crafting of a national bill that if passed into law, will be known as “Non-combustible Nicotine Delivery System Regulation Act of 2020”.

An Occupational Medical Specialist for three and a half decades, with many years working in both hospital and industrial setting. His commitment to harm reduction has always been integral in his practice. Now a concierge Medical Practitioner, providing personalized home care in his city with a population of 90,000 including nearly a thousand cases of COVID-19 seen and treated.

Prof Dr. Nimesh G Desai

Prof Dr. Nimesh G Desai

Senior Consultant in Psychiatry, and former Director IHBAS

Rini Simon Khanna

Rini Simon Khanna

Former TV & Radio News Anchor, Media Person, Voice of the Metros

Robert Beaglehole

Robert Beaglehole

Professor Emeritus of the University of Auckland and chairs ASH – Action for Smokefree Aotearoa and the Lancet NCD Action Group

Yashaswini Basu

Yashaswini Basu

Nyaaya's Outreach Lead, Vidhi

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