The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has appealed to all the pharmacist associations in the country to dispense antibiotics only on the prescription of a qualified doctor.
In an urgent appeal to pharmacists across the country, Director General of Health Services, Professor Atul Goel said in a letter, “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.”
“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 to stop the over-the-counter sale of antibiotics and sell them only on the prescription of a qualified doctor,” it said.
“Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the top global public health threats facing humanity. 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,” it added.
AMR threatens the effective prevention and treatment of infections caused by resistant microbes, resulting in prolonged illness and a greater risk of death, it said. “Treatment failures also lead to longer periods of infectivity and the prohibitively high cost of second-line drugs may fail to treat these diseases in many individuals,” it said.
Misuse and overuse of antimicrobials are one of the main drivers in the development of drug-resistant pathogens. With few new antibiotics in the Research and Development pipeline, prudent antibiotic use is the only option to delay the development of resistance.
“Some high-end antibiotics are included in the 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 to stop the over-the-counter sale of antibiotics and sell them only on the prescription of a qualified doctor,” it added.
All Pharmacist Associations in India Looking forward to your support to promote judicious use of antimicrobials to reduce the emergence of AMR, it said.
(with inputs from ANI)