Published: 21st October 2021
Here's why the National Medical Commission wants medical colleges and hospitals to regulate antibiotic use
The communiqué, sent by Bhushan to the NMC last week meanwhile also asked the regulator to amend the current medicine syllabus with clear norms on when not to prescribe antibiotics for patients
Prompted by the Union Health Ministry, the medical education regulator, National Medical Commission, has asked all medical colleges and hospitals to frame guidelines for antibiotic uses amid concerns about growing antimicrobial resistance.
In a letter issued to institutions under it, the National Medical Commission, citing a communiqué by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, has said that indiscriminate use of antimicrobial and development of AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance) may be leading to increased incidences of infections and avoidable morbidity and mortality. The commission has also nudged the medical colleges to activate Hospital Infection Control Committee and Antimicrobial Stewardship Committees.
AMR is defined as the capacity of the pathogens such as fungi, parasites, bacteria, to evolve and stop responding to medicines meant to kill them. "All hospitals and medical colleges should increase the activity of both the committees and prepare guidelines for antibiotic use in their hospitals depending on prevalent organisms and antimicrobial sensitivity," says the letter.
The communiqué, sent by Bhushan to the NMC last week meanwhile also asked the regulator to amend the current medicine syllabus with clear norms on when not to prescribe antibiotics for patients as this category of drugs is often abused by physicians. All clinical subjects in nursing and medical education must include practical education and evaluation on AMR, judicious use of antimicrobials, antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention and control, he had emphasised.
The letter noted that one of the factors contributing to the rapid emergence of AMR even to the newer antibiotics is the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials warning that in addition, inadequate access to water, sanitation and hygiene, poor infection prevention measures, lack of access to affordable and quality assured antimicrobials, vaccines and diagnostics, all contribute to the drug-resistant pathogens. India already carries one of the highest burdens of drug-resistant pathogens worldwide and some estimates suggest that AMR will cause nearly one crore deaths every year by 2050 around the world.