Antibiotics with promise — a lifeline India awaits

Source– The post is based on the article Antibiotics with promise — a lifeline India awaitspublished in The Hindu on 5th July 2023.

Syllabus: GS2-Issues related to health

News-The article emphasizes the need for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for essential antibiotics that can make a profound difference between life and death.

What are the challenges posed by Antibiotic resistance?

Infection specialists, intensivists, oncologists, and doctors treating severe infections in critically ill and immunocompromised patients are facing challenges.

Each year, millions of lives are lost due to the lack of available antibiotics in the face of these formidable pathogens.

The relentless march of drug resistance has rendered once-effective treatments ineffective.

Doctors are left with limited choices and often resort to suboptimal treatments that may have significant side effects or offer little hope of a cure.

It adds to the immense pressure and helplessness experienced by doctors on the front lines.

What is the way forward?

India must extend the COVID level of urgency as in granting EUA for to saving the lives of patients who may otherwise succumb to infections resistant to all currently available antibiotics.

Cefiderocol, a licenced antibiotic in several countries, developed by a Japanese company, has demonstrated excellent efficacy against drug-resistant infections. India demands access to this life-saving antibiotic without delay.

However, we must emphasise the importance of responsible and appropriate utilisation of these medications.

A collective decision by a team of experienced doctors, including infectious diseases experts should be made mandatory before initiating their use.

By granting EUA for cefepime/zidebactam, an Indian innovation, and cefiderocol, a globally recognized antibiotic, we can strengthen our arsenal against drug-resistant infections.

As a nation known for its scientific achievements, we can make a substantial impact on the world stage.

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