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    It is now Mandatory for Doctors in India to Mention Reasons For Prescribing Antibiotics

    HealthHealth PolicyIt is now Mandatory for Doctors in India to...
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    It is now Mandatory for Doctors in India to Mention Reasons For Prescribing Antibiotics

    This important instruction is contained in DGHS’ latest letter to medical colleges, medical associations, and pharmacist associations across the country.

    In a bid to tackle the misuse of antibiotics or antimicrobial drugs in India, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has made it mandatory for doctors to provide “exact indications” while prescribing antibiotics or antimicrobial drugs drugs.

    This important instruction is contained in DGHS’ latest letter to medical colleges, medical associations, and pharmacist associations across the country.

    More specifically, the DGHS has mentioned that pharmacist must now onwards dispense antibiotics only on the prescription of a qualified doctor and immediately halt the over-the-counter sale of antibiotics.

    “…it is important that doctors mention exact indication on their prescriptions while prescribing antimicrobials,” the DGHS letter says, adding that “it is an urgent appeal to all doctors to mandatorily mention exact indication/reason/justification while prescribing antimicrobials.”

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    About 57 per cent of prescribed antibiotics fall into a category of drugs with a high potential for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) that generally have to be monitored for misuse, according to a report released earlier this month by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

    The study was conducted by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) under the ministry over six months from November 2021 to April 2022. The survey included 9,652 patients and 12,342 antibiotic prescriptions across 20 tertiary care institutes across the country. The sites showed a wide variation in prescription activity, ranging from 37 per cent to 100 per cent.

    The antibiotic prescriptions were classified based on AWaRe categories developed in 2017 by the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Selection and Use of Essential Medicines.

    Image: Hippopx — Creative Commons Zero-CC0

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