As debate springs over prescribing Dolo-650 during the Covid-19 pandemic, a new study raises concerns pointing out the excessive use of antibiotics by Indians. Researchers found that India consumed over 500 crore antibiotics in 2019, of which Azithromycin was the most consumed antibiotic molecule.
The study aims to establish the need for new regulations and strengthen existing ones to monitor and regulate the sale and use of antibiotics.
Published in the journal Lancet Regional Health Southeast Asia, it states that the inappropriate use of antibiotic medicine is a significant driver of antibiotic resistance in India. The research identifies unrestricted over-the-counter sales of most antibiotics complicate the availability and sale of medicine.
“Even though India is the largest antibiotic consumer in absolute volume, the country does not have a formal system of antibiotic use surveillance to guide an antimicrobial stewardship program akin to those found in the US and Europe,” researchers said in the paper adding that the latest global surveillance report from 65 countries — that examined the antibiotic consumption for the year 2015 — did not have data from India.
There is a need for new regulations and to strengthen existing ones around antibiotics sales.