Director General of Health Services Dr Atul Goel has also appealed to all pharmacists to strictly implement schedule H and H1 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules and stop over-the-counter sale of antibiotics and sell them only on the prescription of a qualified doctor
The Union Health Ministry has urged all doctors in medical colleges and medical associations to make it a mandatory practice to mention indication, reason for justification while prescribing antibiotics.
Director General of Health Services Dr Atul Goel has also appealed to all pharmacists to strictly implement schedule H and H1 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules and stop over-the-counter sale of antibiotics and sell them only on the prescription of a qualified doctor.
Misuse and overuse of antimicrobials are one of the main drivers in the development of drug-resistant pathogens, Goel said in a letter dated January 1. ”With few new antibiotics in the research and development pipeline, prudent antibiotic use is the only option to delay the development of resistance,” he stated.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the top global public health threats facing humanity, the letter addressed to all doctors of medical colleges and to all medical associations said.
It is estimated that bacterial AMR was directly responsible for 1.27 million global deaths in 2019 and 4,95 million deaths were associated with drug resistant infections. AMR puts many of the gains of modern medicine at risk.
It threatens the effective prevention and treatment of infections caused by resistant microbes, resulting in prolonged illness and greater risk of death. Treatment failures also lead to longer periods of infectivity and the prohibitive high cost of the second-line drugs may result in failure to treat these diseases in many individuals.
”While the pharmacists are being reminded to implement the schedule H and H1 of the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules and sell antibiotics only on valid prescriptions, it is important that doctors write the indication on the prescriptions while prescribing antimicrobials,” the letter said.
”It is in urgent appeal to all the doctors to make it a mandatory practice to write indication/reason/Justification while prescribing antimicrobials. Looking forward to your support the promote judicious use of antimicrobials to reduce emergence of AMR,” it stated.
In the letter to all pharmacist associations in India, Goel said under Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945, antibiotics are included in the list of drugs specified under Schedule H which are required to be sold by retail on the prescription of a Registered Medical Practitioner (RMP) only. Some high end antibiotics are included in list of HI drugs.
”This is an urgent appeal to all the pharmacists in the country to strictly implement schedule H and H1 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules and stop over the counter sale of antibiotics and sell them only on prescription of a qualified doctor,” the letter stated.