HYDERABAD, FEBRUARY 12, 2024: The Telangana Drug Control Administration has issued an advisory to the people of the state and cautioned against the excessive use of antibiotics and warned of stringent action against the pharmacies if they sell antibiotics without a doctor’s prescription.
In an official release here on Monday, DCA Director-General VB Kamalasan Reddy urged people to be cautious and use antibiotics judiciously to avoid developing Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). “When antibiotics are used incorrectly, bacteria start to acquire resistance to the ‘antibiotics’ designed to kill them. As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics become ineffective and infections become difficult or impossible to treat,” he stated.
Antimicrobial resistance or AMR is a global health care crisis. WHO has declared that – ‘AMR is one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity. It is estimated by WHO that bacterial Antimicrobial Resistance was directly responsible for 12.7 lakh global deaths in 2019. As per the reports, India has one of the highest rates of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) worldwide. ‘Antimicrobials’ includes – antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitics. Drug-resistance in Bacteria i.e. “Antibiotic Resistance” is increasing globally.
As per WHO, over-prescribing of antibiotics is one of causes of antimicrobial resistance. As per WHO guidelines to prevent AMR, doctors shall prescribe antibiotics only when they are necessary and appropriate. Rigorous infection prevention and control measures shall be implemented in the hospitals to reduce the spread of drug-resistant pathogens.
Overuse of antibiotics in food producing animals i.e. livestock (cows, buffalo, sheep, and goats) and in poultry and fish farming is also leading to Antimicrobial Resistance. Antibiotics shall not be used for ‘growth promotion’ in livestock, poultry and fish.
Antibiotics are ‘Prescription Drugs’. Antibiotics are enlisted under Schedule-H and Schedule-H1 of Drugs Rules. Antibiotics can not be sold by medical shops or pharmacies without the prescription of a qualified doctor (Registered Medical Practitioner). Over-the-counter sale of antibiotics to patients by medical shops/pharmacies is punishable under Drugs and Cosmetics Act. Stringent action shall be taken against medical shops/pharmacies that carry out the sale of antibiotics without the prescription of a qualified doctor, the DCA chief warned.