Union Health Ministry Makes It Mandatory For Doctors To State Reason For Prescribing Antibiotics

New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry urged all doctors to compulsorily cite the exact reason while prescribing antibiotics. The decision aims to check the misuse and overuse of the antimicrobial drugs that lead to the emergence of drug-resistant pathogens.

Director General of Health Services, Dr Atul Goel also urged all the pharmacists to strictly implement schedule H and H1 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules and immediately stop over-the-counter sale of antibiotics and sell them only on the prescription of a qualified doctor.

“With few new antibiotics in the research and development pipeline, prudent antibiotic use is the only option to delay the development of resistance,” Goel said in a letter.

In his letter, Goel further stated that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) happens to be one of the top global public health threats and it accounts for 1.27 million deaths across the world in 2019.

The drug-resistant pathogens threaten the natural prevention and treatment of infections which lead to prolonged illness and greater risk of death. Treatment failures also result in longer periods of infectivity and the prohibitive high cost of the second-line drugs 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,” Goel’s letter further stated.

He urged the medical practitioners to mandatorily write the reason and indication while prescribing antibiotics and help reduce emergence of AMR.

“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,” Goel wrote.

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