Generic medicine a relief to humanity

A generic drug is a medication created to be the same as an already marketed brand-name drug in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics, and intended use. These similarities help to demonstrate bioequivalence, which means that a generic medicine works in the same way and provides the same clinical benefit as its brand-name version.

Generic medicines compared to brand-name medicines

Any generic medicine modeled after a brand-name medicine must perform the same in the body as the brand-name medicine. This standard applies to all generic medicines. A generic medicine is the same as a brand-name medicine in dosage, safety, effectiveness, strength, stability, and quality, as well as in the way it is taken and the way it should be used. Generic medicines use the same active ingredients as brand-name medicines and work the same way, so they have the same risks and benefits as the brand-name medicines.

It is important to note that there will always be a slight, but not medically important, level of natural variability just as there is for one batch of brand-name medicine compared with the next batch of brand-name product. This variability can and does occur during manufacturing, for both brand-name and generic medicines. When a medicine, generic or brand-name, is mass produced, very small variations in purity, size, strength, and other parameters are permitted.

Brand-name drugs look different from their generic versions

Generic medicines and brand-name medicines share the same active ingredient, but other characteristics, such as colors and flavorings, that do not affect the performance, safety, or effectiveness of the generic medicine, may be different.

Generic drugs may differ in:

  • Shape
  • Color
  • Packaging
  • Labeling (minor differences)

Generic drugs are allowed to have different inactive ingredients than brand-name drugs. For example, they may have a different:

  • Flavoring
  • Preservative

Generic drugs may also have a different expiration date than brand-name drugs. But even so, the generic must keep its effectiveness until its expiration date, just like a brand-name product.

Generic medicines cost less than brand-name medicines

Generic drugs also tend to cost less than their brand-name counterparts because generic drug applicants do not have to repeat animal and clinical (human) studies that were required of the brand-name medicines to demonstrate safety and effectiveness. This is why the application is called an “abbreviated new drug application.” This together with competition between the brand-name drug and multiple generic drugs, is a large part of the reason generic medicines cost much less.

The reduction in upfront research costs means that, although generic medicines have the same therapeutic effect as their branded counterparts, they are typically sold at substantial discounts, an estimated 80 to 85% less, compared with the price of the brand-name medicine.

Should we be taking Generic medication?

Generics are not available for all medications. The best way to find out if a generic is available for a medication you are taking — and whether or not you should take it — is to ask your doctor and pharmacist.

Some health insurance providers require you to use a generic drug, if available. If you choose to purchase the brand-name product, you may end up paying on your own or have a  larger co-pay.

Generally, your pharmacist can substitute a generic drug for a brand-name drug. If a generic is available, but for some reason your doctor thinks you should still take the brand-name drug, he’ll write “Do Not Substitute” on the prescription.

If your pharmacist for some reason does not substitute a generic for a brand-name drug, you can ask your doctor to indicate on the prescription that substitutions are acceptable. That way, you can get the same drug for a lot less money.

It can get confusing. Don’t be afraid to ask your pharmacist if the medication you received is the generic form of the medicine you are used to taking.

Tell your doctor if you notice any change in your condition or have any unusual side effects when changing from a brand-name to a generic drug.

Generic Drugs use worldwide

The story of generics versus branded medicine being used to treat patients all over the world is not new. Many people become concerned because generic drugs are often substantially cheaper than the brand-name versions. They wonder if the quality and effectiveness have been compromised to make the less expensive products. The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) requires that generic drugs be as safe and effective as brand-name drugs.

Actually, generic drugs are only cheaper because the manufacturers have not had the expenses of developing and marketing a new drug. When a company brings a new drug onto the market, the firm has already spent substantial money on research, development, marketing and promotion of the drug. A patent is granted that gives the company that developed the drug an exclusive right to sell the drug as long as the patent is in effect.

As the patent nears expiration, manufacturers can apply to the FDA for permission to make and sell generic versions of the drug; and without the startup costs for development of the drug, other companies can afford to make and sell it more cheaply. When multiple companies begin producing and selling a drug, the competition among them can also drive the price down even further.

So there’s no truth in the myths that generic drugs are manufactured in poorer-quality facilities or are inferior in quality to brand-name drugs. The FDA applies the same standards for all drug manufacturing facilities, and many companies manufacture both brand-name and generic drugs. Another common misbelief is that generic drugs take longer to work. The FDA requires that generic drugs work as fast and as effectively as the original brand-name products.

Sometimes, generic versions of a drug have different colors, flavors, or combinations of inactive ingredients than the original medications. Trademark laws in the United States do not allow the generic drugs to look exactly like the brand-name preparation, but the active ingredients must be the same in both preparations, ensuring that both have the same medicinal effects.

Generic medicines in India

While this is done in America when it will progress in India the poor shall be the greatest beneficiary of change. Anything for the poor is always a welcome idea but not at the cost of human health and survival. To compare American conditions with ours could be a naive if not disastrous idea sometimes.

It is well known that American democracy is more than 260 years old. Unlike India, it attracts the best of the talents from the world, and the public is ruled by a set of governance with a minimal bureaucratic control. Contrary to that, we are a developing nation with a short history, and merit has very often than not been a casualty. While the perception of the decision is poor-centric, ultimately it is this class which bears the brunt of poor quality in a system dominated by rich and the powerful.

While there is no denial of the fact that good quality generics are always comparable to the branded medicine, the quality of the product depends on the sophisticated processing and manufacturing of a research molecule. It is a global experience of the clinicians that the original molecules are more efficacious and have higher biological availability to act on the root of the disease process vis-à-vis those manufactured under different conditions and marketed after procuring licenses through dubious means.

While in United States, there is a stringent quality control and a serious periodic monitoring of the quality, this is far from truth in India, where to get a drug license through political or bureaucratic connections by corrupt means is as easy as buying vegetables in the market. The drug control mechanisms in India have huge limitations both in terms of availability of manpower and technology. Rampant corruption in the system makes it worse. The other major limitation in our country is the non-availability of qualified pharmacist and dispensers on the medical shops. The pharmacies or the drug shops all across India are largely manned by unemployed and untrained youth or family members. The pharmacist by and large outsources his license and takes his commission out of the contract. Left to them, it could have very serious implications where the technical ingredients of which the dispenser is ignorant could be wrongly dispensed under the huge risk of allergies and side effects. Further, many drug formulations with combinations shall be difficult for the unqualified shopkeeper to deliver.

With the mushrooming of pharmaceutical companies with incentives, the owner of the drug stores shall be least concerned with the quality of the drug. While it is true that some of the medical professionals have been hand-in-glove with the pharma companies and could have harmed patient interests, by and large a doctor would always like his patient to be cured and would prefer a quality medicine with good bioavailability for primary illness. He may be using certain adjuncts to benefit the company which could always be curtailed by a prescription auditing through the Medical Council. This would certainly be more preferred than leaving patients to the mercy of unqualified drug dispensers. Leaving it to the discretion of the pharmacist could be even more counterproductive. Chemists are unregulated and have no obligations, ethical or commercial for selling products.

Regarding the drug pricing, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority can always reduce the maximum retail price and leave very little room for manipulation by the pharmaceutical companies. Government could also consider introducing uniform code of marketing for bringing down the cost of medicines.

No medical professional would be against the low cost generic, provided it that is a quality drug but it is believed that not more than 1% of generic drugs sold in India undergo quality tests as practiced in USA or Europe. Ensuring availability of uniform quality of generic drugs would facilitate doctors to prescribe them with confidence.

If this is ignored it is likely to create a disastrous situation for the common men where his suffering would increase if he is dispensed “cheaper” poor quality generics. The brunt would fall on the have-nots since, the affluent and the powerful would always manage the quality drugs either generic or branded. This has happened in the larger government institutions where the branded medicines were replaced by generics. Remember while comparing generics with the branded medicines, it is just not the content of the ingredient, it is the purity and the concentration producing effective biological levels in the blood.

Another fallout of the proposed change would negatively incentivise pharma companies to invest in research and development. Not only will it create huge unemployment issues but will also greatly hamper creation of newer molecules.

It is necessary for the concerned authorities to first set their house in order and create a local framework free of corrupt practices to provide quality in generic drug testing and also create stringent process of issuing licenses. Once this is available, the Generics would obviously be as good as the so called branded. Thus it would be a good situation for everyone.

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Health benefits of papaya :

Papaya is now grown in several countries including India, Malaysia and Philippines. It is no wonder the papaya was reputably called the “fruit of the angels” by Christopher Columbus. Papayas offer not only the luscious taste and sunlit color of the tropics, but are rich sources of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids; the B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid; and the minerals, potassium, copper, and magnesium; and fiber. It is one of the popular fruits as it is rich in medicinal value and nutritive properties. It contains vitamins and mineral required for normal body functioning. This orange colored fruit is delicious and can be eaten as it is or in the form of juice, milkshake or smoothie. Raw papaya is used in India as a vegetable. it is not just flavorsome but also has many health benefits. Here are some health benefits of papaya.

  • Protection against Heart Disease

Papayas are an excellent source of the powerful antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin A. These nutrients help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. When cholesterol becomes oxidized is it able to stick to and build up in blood vessel walls, forming dangerous plaques that can eventually cause heart attacks or strokes. Papayas are also a good source of fiber, which has been shown to lower high cholesterol levels.

  • Improves digestion

The fruit, as well as the other parts of the papaya tree, contain papain, an enzyme, which plays a vital role in the digestion of proteins in the body. This enzyme is especially concentrated in the fruit when it is unripe. Papain is extracted to make digestive enzyme dietary supplements and is also used as an ingredient in some chewing gums. Papaya is one of the best home remedies to treat irritable bowel syndrome and constipation.

  • Has antioxidant properties

Papaya contains carotenoid, an antioxidant that neutralizes the free radicals. Free radicals are molecule produced during the metabolism but too many of them can result in disease. Papaya is one of the best sources of carotenoid. The antioxidants present in dried papaya help to strengthen immunity and eliminate free radicals that are hazardous to your health. This fruit contains more amount of beta-carotene than in carrots.

  • Has anti-cancer properties

Research shows that papaya contains lycopene, which can lower the risk of cancer. It is believed that papaya helps in fighting cancer as it has the ability to neutralize free radicals. Papaya’s fiber is able to bind to cancer-causing toxins in the colon and keep them away from the healthy colon cells. In addition, papaya’s folate, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin E have each been associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. Increasing your intake of these nutrients by enjoying papaya is an especially good idea for individuals at risk of colon cancer. The fruit is also beneficial for those who are undergoing a treatment for cancer.

  • Controls Diabetes

Research have shown that the consumption of raw papaya could help maintain blood sugar level and cholesterol because of the high fiber content, thereby keeping a check on diabetes. In some parts of India, especially the North East, papaya flowers are locally used as a preventive measure against diabetes.

  • Treatment of Dengue

Papaya leaves are commonly used in the treatment of dengue to help boost up the count of platelets. Dengue is an infection which affects the blood platelets massively. A simple remedy to get back the platelets count is to give the patient a glass of papaya leaf juice. It is prepared by grinding the leaves with a small amount of water to extract the juice. However, dengue can prove to be fatal once it develops into Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever which shuts down the circulatory system.

  • Treats constipation

Papaya helps indigestion and improves in the bowel movement, which helps in passing stool easily. The fruit contains vitamin C, folate and vitamin E, which creates and tonic effect in the tummy and reduces motion sickness.

  • Normalizes irregular periods

Drinking papaya juice can help normalize the irregular period. You can also drink the juice of raw papaya for irregular menstrual cycle. Papaya produces heat in the body and stimulates the hormone estrogen, which induces periods.

  • Relieves toothaches

Papaya is among the best home remedies for tooth aches. Make a paste of papaya roots and massage onto the gums and teeth ad get relief from toothache. You can also use the inner bark for this. Papaya helps in removing the bacteria from the tooth and aids in the healing process.

  • Fights infection

Papaya fights many fungal infection and kills intestinal worms, which causes many infections and complications.

  • Fights inflammation

Papaya contains several unique protein-digesting including enzymes papain and chymopapain. These enzymes have been shown to help lower inflammation and to improve healing from burns. In addition, the antioxidant nutrients found in papaya, including vitamin C and beta-carotene, are also very good at reducing inflammation. Many diseases are caused due to chronic inflammation and eating papaya will fight this inflammation.

  • Reduces acne

Papaya is very effective in treating many skin disorders. It can be used to treat acne. All you have to do is apply the fleshy part of the papaya skin on the affected area of your body. Eating the fruit will also make the skin clear. You can also obtain latex from papaya and apply it on the burnt area to reduce the marks.

  • Support Immune

Vitamin C and vitamin A, which is made in the body from the beta-carotene in papaya, are both needed for the proper function of a healthy immune system. Papaya may therefore be a healthy fruit choice for preventing such illnesses as recurrent ear infections, colds and flu.

  • Prevents ageing

Eating a papaya daily will prolong the process and may make you look younger than you are. Papaya is rich in vitamin C, vitamin E and antioxidants like beta-carotene which helps prevent your skin from free radical damage keeping wrinkles and other signs of ageing at bay.

  • Promotes hair growth

Papayas are very effective for maintaining healthy hair. Vitamin A in them is utilised in production of sebum, a compound that is crucial for keeping the hair smooth, shiny and moisturised. External application of papaya extract to the scalp can help you get rid of dandruff. The nutrients present in them help prevent hair loss. They boost hair growth  and prevent hair thinning

  • Helps in reducing weight

One medium sized papaya contains just 120 calories. So, if you’re planning to lose weight, don’t forget to add this light fruit to your diet. Besides, it also packed with a considerable amount of dietary fibre that aids weight loss by promoting a feeling of fullness and controlling hunger.

  • Keeps skin healthy and youthful

Papaya makes your skin youthful and healthy. The antioxidants present in the fruit is responsible for neutralize the excessive free radicals, which cause skin damage, sagging and wrinkles. Rich in lycopene and vitamin C, papaya also helps in reducing the sign of aging.

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Many health benefits of potato, amazing!

Potatoes are one of the most common and important food sources on the planet, and they contain a wealth of health benefits that make them all the more essential as a staple dietary item for much of the world’s population.

Many children around the world often refuse to eat their vegetables, yet they share something else in common. They almost all like potatoes. This is the strange and magical quality of potatoes; you will rarely find anyone who dislikes them or refuses to eat them. They are in almost every major continental diet in some form, and they can be prepared in dozens of ways, including baked, fried, sliced, mashed, and many more.

Potatoes originated in the Andean mountain region of South America. Researchers estimate that potatoes have been cultivated by the Indians living in these areas for between 4,000 and 7,000 years. Today, this vegetable is one of the most popular throughout the world and the main producers of potatoes include the Russian Federation, Poland, India, China and the United States.

Potatoes should not be stored around onions because both vegetables emit natural gases that cause the other to decay. Potatoes should not be stored in the refrigerator, as their starch content will turn to sugar giving them an undesirable taste.

Nutritional value:

Potatoes are a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fiber and pantothenic acid.

Minerals: If potatoes are consumed regularly, we can ensure a good supply of water and ions in your body. Potatoes are rich in potassium, magnesium,  phosphorus zinc and are good for the skin. So, eating the potato with its skin is always beneficial. They also contain calcium and iron.

Vitamins: Potatoes contain large amounts of Vitamin C present in them. In addition to this, they also contains Vitamin A, B and P. High concentration of vitamin B6 in potato earns high marks as a health-promoting food. Vitamin B6 plays numerous roles in our nervous system and is a key player in athletic performance and endurance.

Water: In Potato water accounts for about 70-80 percent of their weight. We have a general misconception that by eating potatoes one will become fat. If our potato dish contains large quantities of greasy butter, sour cream, melted cheese or bacon bits then it can be a potential contributor to a heart attack. If we can’t keep away from those high-fat and high-cholesterol greasy French fries, or potato chips then one is bound to become overweight.

Starch: Potatoes contain about 17% starch and they are one of the best natural sources of starch. However, one should avoid eating sprouted potatoes as sprouting leads to the conversion of starch into sugar.

Some ways that will help us reduce the loss of potato nutrients:

Peeling the potatoes before cooking should be avoided. The protein and mineral content beneath the skin is very high so if we eat the skin along with the inside part, we get all these nutrients, or else we will primarily end up eating is just carbohydrates.

When we boil potatoes, first we should heat the water to its boiling point and then add them. This will reduce the cooking time and help us maintain the Vitamin C content.

Frying of potatoes should be minimized, as 75% of Vitamin C is lost during frying. We can use other cooking methods such as baking and steaming to reduce loss.

Foremost Health Benefits:

Improves digestion- Since potatoes predominantly contain carbohydrates they are easy to digest and facilitate digestion. The fiber content in potato helps in prevention of constipation. The vegetable improves bowel movement and keeps the digestive tract healthy. Fiber is also connected with scraping cholesterol out of the arteries and blood vessels, thereby increasing heart health.

Reduces blood pressure- Potatoes can be used to relieve high blood pressure due to tension. They should be avoided if the high blood pressure is a result of diabetes. The fiber present in it is helpful in lowering cholesterol and improves functioning of insulin in the body, which aids in the lowering of blood pressure. Baked potatoes are rich in potassium and magnesium, which are important for healthy heart.

Reduces inflammation- Potatoes are very effective in reducing  inflammation both internal and external. It is soft, easily digestible & contains a lot of Vitamin B6, potassium and vitamin C which can relieve inflammation of the digestive system and the intestine. Vitamin-C is also a very good antioxidant that repairs tissue wear and tear. Hence, people who suffer from arthritis and gout can use potatoes for their anti-inflammatory impact, but should eat baked potatoes instead of deep fried ones.

Protects Skin- Potatoes rich in Vitamin-C and B-complex also contains minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc are good for the skin. Vitamin C as an essential nutrient that works in our bodies as an antioxidant to help prevent damage caused by the sun, pollution, and smoke. Crushed raw potatoes pulp, mixed with honey, can work well in skin and face packs. This even helps to cure pimples and spots on the skin. Potato pulp, applied externally on burns, provides quick relief and faster healing. Smashed potatoes, and even potato washed water is very good for softening and cleaning skin, especially around the elbows, and the back of the hands.

Relieves Rheumatism- One of the home remedies for rheumatism is Potato. Vitamins like the calcium and magnesium help to provide relief from rheumatism. Water obtained from boiling potatoes can relieve the pain and inflammation of rheumatism. However, due to high starch and carbohydrate content, it tends to increase body weight which may have adverse effects on rheumatic people. So external application is better than consuming the potato itself.

Weight gain- Since Potatoes are rich in carbohydrates and contain very little protein so it is an ideal diet for those excessively lean or thin people who desperately want to put on weight. Vitamin-C and B-complex, present in potatoes also help in proper absorption of carbohydrates. That is why potatoes make up a large part of the diet of sumo wrestlers, as well as many other athletes who need large energy reserves to burn off in order to compete.Brain Function Brain to function efficiently depends largely on the glucose level, oxygen supply, vitamin-B complex and certain hormones, amino acids and fatty acids like omega-3. Potatoes cater to most of these needs. They are rich in carbohydrates, and thereby maintain good levels of glucose in the blood. This prevents the brain from letting fatigue creep in and it keeps your cognitive activity and performance high. Now, the brain needs oxygen, which is carried to the brain by the hemoglobin in the blood; its main constituent is iron which is present in potatoes. Thus they help deliver oxygen to the brain as well. There are a wide variety of vitamins and minerals in potatoes that positively affect the function of the brain, including phosphorus, zinc, and the B complex vitamins.

Prevents cancer- Fiber intake from fruits and vegetables like potatoes are associated with a lowered risk of colorectal cancer. Research has shown that potatoes contain a compound called quercetin, which has been proven to have anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties. High levels of vitamin A and C both have antioxidant qualities that can protect our body from the devastating effects of cancer.

Building Bones-Iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, and zinc in potatoes all contribute to the building and maintenance of bone structure and strength. Iron and zinc play crucial roles in the production and maturation of collagen. Though phosphorus and calcium are both important in bone structure, the careful balance of the two minerals is necessary for proper bone mineralization consumption of too much phosphorus with too little calcium can result in bone loss.

Prevents Scurvy- High level vitamin-C present in potatoes can help prevent this disease, caused by a deficiency of vitamin-C. It is characterized by cracked lip corners, spongy and bleeding gums, and frequent viral infections. In certain nations of the world scurvy still exist, this can be check by the abundant presence of potatoes to solve this problem.

Cautions:

Some care also needs to be taken while eating potatoes. Green potatoes are often poisonous, and so are potato leaves and fruits, as they contain alkaloids like solanine, chaconine and arsenic. An overdose of those chemicals could easily prove fatal. People who are obese, trying to lose weight or diabetic should avoid eating potatoes. If eaten, potatoes are healthier when baked, rather than raw or fried.

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Benefits of water therapy

The early morning hours is our ‘’golden hours’’. A lot can be done before we start the day. Oil massaging, drinking lemon water, dry brushing, meditation / praying and  a quick morning workout are all examples of how we can start our day healthy and set the tone for the rest of the day. But the Japanese recommend us to add one more very healthy habit, the Japanese water therapy. For decades the Japanese have been practicing the habit of drinking water in the morning on an empty stomach.

Drinking water is of course generally good for our health. Water is a great source of vitality and is a necessary element for every cell and function in our body. There is no life without water. Many scientific studies and research is going on for years on the effects of drinking water on human lives.

Now what do you understand by Japanese water therapy?

Japanese traditional medical system recommends drinking water just after awakening because of its natural health benefits.

For decades, it is a well-known habit in Japan to drink water immediately after waking up every morning on an empty stomach although no studies could be found on it.

For minor illnesses as well as serious diseases the water treatment has been found successful by a Japanese medical system as a natural remedy in cases of:

  • body ache
  • headache
  • arthritis
  • fast heart beat
  • heart problems
  • epilepsy
  • obesity
  • meningitis
  • diabetes
  • menstrual disorders
  • urine and diseases
  • vomiting
  • gastritis
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • piles
  • ear, nose, and throat diseases
  • all eye diseases
  • bronchitis asthma

Let us understand the different steps in Japanese water therapy 

What precautions to take before we start practicing the Japanese water therapy? If you suffering or have any kidney problem or other severe health issues, then take your doctor’s advice before starting the Japanese Water Therapy. Now we come to the steps we need to follow to carry out this therapy.

  1. After we wake up we should drink 4 x 160ml (22 ounces) glasses of water not cold before we do anything else, including brushing our teeth.
  2. After we finish our water, we can brush our teeth, but eating or drinking for next 45 minutes is not allowed.
  3. After 45 minutes have passed we may eat and drink as normal.
  4. After every meal or snack, we should not eat or drink anything for next 2 hours.
  5. If anyone is sick, elderly, or not used to this habit, one can start this process gradually that eventually after some days will consume 22 ounces water per day.

It is suggested to continue this therapy and to make this procedure a routine in our life. The Chinese and Japanese usually tend to drink hot water with their meals, not cold water. Maybe now it’s time that we should also adopt their drinking habits? In Ayurveda also there are also many suggestions on the temperature of drinking water. They believe that drinking liquids too cold or too hot can cause many diseases.

Now why should one believe this Japanese practice?

There are some remarkable facts which convince us to adopt some of the Japanese healthy habits. Japanese have the most longevity life as nation and there are quite a number of Japanese men & women older than 100 years.

Japanese water therapy, similar to the water therapy in Indian ayurveda, has been around for a very long time. In fact, the Japanese water therapy is extremely popular not only in Japan, but throughout the world. We all know that our bodies are made up of 60-70% water so when the amount of water in our body reduces, we face different health problems since our organs can’t function without water.

Condition:                          

We should never overdo this water therapy. Drinking excess water in a short time can lead to what is known as “fatal water poisoning” or affect our kidney. Now the level of excessive water depends on factors like age, person’s fitness level, weight, climatic conditions etc has to be taken into account. Too much of a good thing is also not good either, and this certainly goes with Japanese water therapy as well. So some conditions & precautions are to taken before we go for Japanese water therapy.

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