Pill Carefully Hospitals, doctors, chemists – they all need a stronger push towards rational use of antibiotics

Source: The post is based on the article “Pill Carefully Hospitals, doctors, chemists – they all need a stronger push towards rational use of antibiotics” published in The Times of India on 28th November 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

Relevance: About Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

News: Recently, ICMR attempted to reform advised doctors to avoid using antibiotics in conditions such as low-grade fever and viral bronchitis. It also plans to announce a stop date in advance to ensure that antibiotics are not given beyond the recommended duration.

What is Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and its causes and concerns?
Must read: Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR): Causes, Concerns and Remedies – Explained, pointwise
What is the reason behind ICMR’s recent advice to reduce the use of antibiotics?

Multiple studies of ICMR have shown the costs of using antimicrobial prescriptions for syndrome management rather than based on a definitive diagnosis. For instance, last year, resistance to Imipenem increased from 14% in 2016 to 36% in 2021.

Note: Imipenem is used to treat infections caused by bacteria E coli

AMR is also being increased due to the food industry, contaminated soil and poor sanitation, doctors and hospitals have a direct role in the matter.

What should be done to reduce the use of antibiotics?

Instead of being at the pilot stage, stewardship programmes should be started across hospitals. This should focus on transparently reporting both prevalent and targeted levels of antibiotic use.

ICMR, CDSCO and state drug controllers all need to step up the audits and updation needed to depress antimicrobial resistance.

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