Odisha Govt In Action Mode After Health Ministry’s ‘Specify Reason’ Guideline On Sale Of Antibiotics

Bhubaneswar: Two days after the Union Health Ministry made it mandatory for doctors and medical practitioners to specify the reasons while prescribing antibiotics, the Odisha government on Saturday welcomed the move.

The Health Ministry has also directed pharmacists to refrain from selling antibiotics without the prescription of a qualified doctor.

Health department officials in Odisha are of the view that the move has apparently been taken in view of growing concerns over the misuse and overuse of antibiotics.

Welcoming the step by the Health Ministry, Odisha’s Health Director, Dr Bijay Mohapatra said the irrational use of antibiotics has led to growing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) globally which has become a cause of concern.

He said this is happening because of the irrational use of antibiotics, and stressed that proper quantities of antibiotics should be given as per the requirement of the patients.

The Health Director that the Centre has urged medical practitioners to cite the reasons for prescribing antibiotics to patients. Doctors have to write the diagnosis and indications for which antibiotics are suggested.

Noting that there are antibiotics for stomach problems and for respiratory ailments, he said the reason should be cited for which purpose antibiotics are being recommended. Rational use of antibiotics will lessen AMR. Medicine shops should not sell antibiotics without doctors’ prescriptions, Dr Mohapatra said, adding that unless misuse of antibiotics is checked, AMR will pose grave dangers like zoonotic diseases.

Following the Health Ministry’s directive, the state government seems to have turned into action mode. Drugs Controller Ashok Patra said instruction has been issued to all drug inspectors to ensure that medicine shops do not sell antibiotics without medical prescriptions. They have been asked to take stern action against those violating the order. Medicine shops will maintain registers while selling such medicines, he said.

As per reports, AMR is stated to be directly responsible for 1.27 million global deaths in 2019, while 4.95 million deaths were linked to drug-resistant infections.

The Union Health Ministry has said in its communication, “With few new antibiotics in the Research and Development pipeline, prudent antibiotic use is the only option to delay the development of resistance.”

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