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6th January 2024 (12 Topics)

Drug war: On use of antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance

Context:

Antimicrobial resistance is a health issue that will negate advances in medicine.

Alarming Antibiotic Prescription Patterns

  • High Antibiotic Prescriptions: The 'First Multicentric Point Prevalence Survey of Antibiotic Use' reveals over 70% antibiotic prescription rates in tertiary-care hospitals across 15 States and two Union Territories.
  • Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR): More than 50% of prescribed antibiotics carry the risk of causing AMR, a severe global health concern.
  • Prophylactic Antibiotics: A significant concern emerges as 55% of patients receive antibiotics as preventive measures, with only 45% getting them for actual infections.

Implications of Antimicrobial Resistance

  • Evolution of Drug-Resistant Pathogens: AMR arises from misuse and overuse, enabling pathogens to evolve and resist antimicrobial drugs.
  • Global Health Impact: WHO estimates show direct responsibility for 1.27 million deaths in 2019 and contributions to 4.95 million deaths due to bacterial AMR.
  • Undermining Medical Advances: AMR not only hinders infection treatment but also heightens risks in medical procedures like surgery, caesarean sections, and cancer chemotherapy.

Urgent Measures and Stakeholder Roles

  • Research and Development Crisis: The article emphasizes the antibiotic research and development pipeline crisis, urging immediate measures and equitable access to new drugs.
  • Role of Doctors and Government: Calls for rational antibiotic prescriptions and government regulation on drug use, especially in animal husbandry.
  • Patient Awareness: Acknowledges patient expectations for immediate relief, highlighting the need for public awareness on the implications of antibiotic misuse and the importance of adhering to medical protocols.
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