Govt mulls guidelines to check exploitative 'use' of antibiotics
New Delhi: Aiming to put a check on exploitative 'use' of antibiotics, the government is mulling to bring out comprehensive guidelines for procurement and prescription of antibacterial drugs. The decision in this regard has been initiated in the wake of rise in the number of cases of antimicrobial resistance in children due to high intake of antibiotic-infected food items.
According to sources, the discussion over bringing out the guidelines to 'control' the usage and prescription of antibiotics is at the initial stage, which would be finalized after taking on board all stakeholders.
"Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) among people is another major health hazard that we have to deal with after multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). The government is seriously taking up the overuse of antibiotics issue," a source said.
According to the sources, the process to formulate comprehensive guidelines to curb the rampant usage of antibacterial drugs started after the government banned the import of oxytocin drug.
Citing the findings of a study, the sources said, "A recent study has estimated that the use of antibiotics in animal feed, which is known to contribute to growing antibiotic resistance in the environment, will increase by 82 per cent in India by 2030. If no concrete action would be initiated in this regard, it would lead to another major health issue in near future."
Explaining about the proposed guidelines, the source said, "The guidelines would have different parameters to make the use of antibiotics in a controlled way. The norms would be formulated to
monitor the prescription of antibacterial drugs by making it 'must' for doctors, pharmacists, retailers etc to create a database of commonly used antibiotics."
The guidelines would also have the aspects of the qualitative use of the drugs, the source said, adding that as health is a state subject, the proposed norms would be effective only if all states roll out Clinical and Establishment Act.
Hailing the move, a senior official, who is associated with drug regulator, said, "The initiative is in the interest of
masses. The exploitative usage of antibiotics is becoming the genesis of several other diseases."
Notably, in a report published by the World Health Organisation (WHO), it was stated that antibiotics, which are under development to combat the growing threat of
antimicrobial resistance, are not efficient to control the disease-causing bacteria.
The WHO report highlighted the new antibiotics that are being developed to treat drug-resistant, including tuberculosis that kills around 2.5 lakh people each year.