The global body estimates that this has led to 12.7 lakh deaths across the globe in 2019.
As per reports, India has one of the highest rates of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
‘Antimicrobials’ includes antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and Antiparasitic. Drug-resistance in bacteria, ‘antibiotic resistance’ is increasing globally while antibiotics save lives when used appropriately, said V.B. Kamalasan Reddy, DG –DCA, in a release here on Monday.
Stringent action shall be taken against medical shops/pharmacies selling antibiotics without prescriptions, Reddy said.
When used incorrectly, bacteria start to acquire resistance to the ‘antibiotics’ designed to kill them as they develop the ability to withstand the effects of antibiotics, he warned.
As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics become ineffective and treating infections become difficult and near impossible, he said.
This means that common infections cannot be cured because life-saving antibiotics stop working against bacteria and pose a significant threat to public health.
The development of antimicrobial resistance is a natural phenomenon. However, certain human actions accelerate its emergence and spread.
Preventing antimicrobial resistance is a complex task and requires the active involvement of doctors, health care professionals, regulatory authorities, industries and the general public, Reddy said.
As per WHO, over-prescribing of antibiotics is one of the causes of antimicrobial resistance. Rigorous infection prevention and control measures should be implemented in hospitals so as to reduce the spread of drug-resistant pathogens.
Overuse of antibiotics in food producing animals, livestock, poultry and fish farming is also leading to AMR. Antibiotics should be strictly prohibited for ‘growth promotion’ in livestock, poultry and fish, he said.
Drug manufacturing units and inappropriate disposal of unused antibiotics also contribute to antimicrobial resistance, he cautioned.
Antibiotics are ‘prescription drugs,’ enlisted under schedule-H and schedule-H1 of Drugs Rules. Over-the-counter sale of antibiotics without prescription is punishable under Drugs and Cosmetics Act, he said.