Express Pharma

Kerala to cancel licences of pharmacies selling antibiotics without prescription

The government also announced steps to make all primary health centres in Kerala antibiotic smart primary health centres, as part of strengthening its Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) activities in the southern state

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Recognising that the misuse and overuse of anti-microbials are the main drivers in the development of drug-resistant pathogens, the Kerala government has decided to cancel the licences of pharmacies selling antibiotics without a doctor’s prescription.

The government also announced steps to make all primary health centres in Kerala antibiotic smart primary health centres, as part of strengthening its Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) activities in the southern state.

As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines become ineffective and infections become increasingly difficult or impossible to treat.

In a statement recently, the state Health Department said direct purchase of antibiotics from pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription is a major reason for the increase in antibiotic resistance.

“The health department has decided to take steps to strictly prohibit it. Strict instructions will be given to cancel the licenses of pharmacies selling antibiotics without a doctor’s prescription,” it said.

The decision was taken at the annual review meeting of Kerala Anti-Microbial Resistance Strategic Action Plan (KARSAP), chaired by Veena George, Health Minister recently.

The statement said the meeting evaluated the AMR activities being carried out in Kerala in detail and decided to strengthen the awareness about it by intensifying activities for antibiotic literacy with the support of the media.

The meeting also took note of the studies in the fields of environment, fisheries, animal husbandry and aquaculture which showed that antibiotic resistance is increasing.

“Antibiotics have been found to be used unscientifically not only in humans, but also in animal husbandry, poultry farming, fish farming, etc. Moreover, even in the samples collected from the environment, bacteria and genes capable of resisting antibiotics have been found. The unscientific use of antibiotics in all sectors led to this situation,” it said.

The WHO has said the emergence and spread of drug-resistant pathogens that have acquired new resistance mechanisms continues to threaten our ability to treat common infections.

Especially alarming is the rapid global spread of multi- and pan-resistant bacteria (also known as “superbugs”) that cause infections that are not treatable with existing antimicrobial medicines such as antibiotics, it has said.

Edits by EP News Bureau

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