My attention was drawn to this piece in the newspaper. “In a significant development Britain has decided to penalize doctors who give in to patients' demands for the drugs that are fast becoming ineffective".
A British government-funded review recently recommended that pharmaceutical companies set up a $2-billion global incentive fund to look for new antibiotics. Not a single new antibiotic — known to be the magic bullets of medical science — has been discovered in over 30 years.Everyone should sit up and take a note of how much expenses are involved in development of an antibiotic molecule and significantly nothing has come our way for decades!
Antibiotics are the most potent tool that modern medicine has in its armamentarium.It is really very sad and disquieting to see how this potent weapon is being blunted every day by indiscriminate use.
What is happening in India?
"The availability of health services in rural India is high and people seek care 96% of the time they are sick, however, conditions are poorly diagnosed and treatments are provided indiscriminately. Almost 80% of Indian prescriptions include an antibiotic, whether needed or not. An
important factor that weighs in the minds while taking an antibiotic is the fear of missing something, so "cover" everything under the umbrella of antibiotics and thus have a false sense of security. It is another story that broader the coverage, larger is the chance of developing resistance.
Antibiotics are agents meant to work against specific bacterial infections only. In pediatric population the 2 most common ailments for which antibiotics are abused are watery diarrhea and upper respiratory infections, viral, more often than not. People have notions that their children do not get well and quickly without use of antibiotics.
When not using antibiotics the responsibility is even larger to keep educating people about the danger signs and to report quickly back if anything goes amiss. Many a times a hurried institution of antibiotics is likely to mask the diagnosis (for example a urinary tract infection) and then proper duration of treatment is difficult to institute.
Judicious and appropriate antibiotic usage is in larger interest of the people. Unwanted and injudicious use of antibiotics is the most important underlying cause of developing resistance to them by the bugs which once were responsive. We already have "super-bugs"
causing havoc, and many a times we are left searching for an available antibiotic in very critical patients. Multi drug resistance tuberculosis has already become a menace, a very difficult and expensive preposition. The mindless usage of antibiotic is to be discouraged strongly.