A report by the Centre for Disease Dynamics,
Economics & Policy (CDDEP), USA, has highlighted various factors
contributing to antibiotic-treatable deaths. The study was based on stakeholder
interviews in Uganda, India, and Germany, and literature reviews to identify
key access barriers to antibiotics in low-, middle-, and high-income countries.
The study has highlighted that the mortality
burden from treatable bacterial infections in low and middle income countries remains
higher than deaths from antibiotic-resistant infections.
The findings of the study show that there are factors
in low& middle income countries that delay or prevent market entry of newly
discovered antibiotics. These include a) regulatory hurdles and b) substandard health
facilities. For example, out of 21 new antibiotics entering markets between
1999 and 2014, less than 5 were registered in most countries of Sub-Saharan Africa.
In case of India, the study has noted that the
country has a shortage of an estimated 6 lakh doctors and 2 million nurses. The
lack of health practioners and staff who are properly trained in administering
antibiotics is preventing patients from accessing these medicines in India.
The study has further added that even when
antibiotics are available, patients are often unable to afford them. The report
notes that government spending in health sector in India remains low and 65% of
health expenditure is out-of-pocket which drives millions to poverty each year.