Maharashtra soon to get its own antibiotic policy

The government appointed six-member committee will finalise and submit the first draft of the policy. Doctors feel that it was long overdue. According to doctors, the rising antibiotic resistance had affected treatment of community acquired pneumonia, urinary tract infections and typhoid the most. The doctors’ welcome state’s decision to have an antibiotic policy in place

Maharashtra soon to get its own antibiotic policy

Moving forward in order to get its own antibiotic policy the Maharashtra state government appointed six-member committee will finalise and submit the first draft of the policy. The committee will submit the first draft of the policy two weeks’ time.

Maharashtra will become the second state in India, after Kerala, to get an antibiotic policy in place to combat rising antibiotic resistance cases.

The six-member committee of the state government also include Dr Vasant Nagvekar, infectious disease expert of Global hospital, Dr DB Kadam, head of the medicine department- Sassoon Hospital, Dr Abhay Chowdhary, head, department of microbiology of JJ hospital and Dr Geeta Natrajan, microbiologist at KEM Hospital.

“We already had 4-5 meetings. Our antibiotic policy draft should be ready in two weeks’ time,” said Dr Kadam.

Last year, in February, the Union health ministry had released ‘National antibiotics guidelines’. Dr Nagvekar told My Medical Mantra that Maharashtra’s antibiotic policy too will follow the central policy. “We will be strongly considering the National antibiotic policy with minor changes based on the local epidemiology,” he said.

India is said to be the world’s largest consumer of antibiotics and prescribing antibiotics for cough and cold has been a common practice among doctors. The doctors have welcomed the state’s decision to have an antibiotic policy.

“It was long overdue. We are glad that our government is finally reacting to the growing incidence of antibiotic resistance cases. It took 30 years for scientists to discover a new antibiotic. Arbitrary usage of antibiotics needs to be stopped immediately,” said Dr Khusrav Bajan, intensivist from PD Hinduja Hospital.

According to doctors, the rising antibiotic resistance has affected treatment of community acquired pneumonia, urinary tract infections and typhoid the most.

“It is good that the government has decided to have a policy in place. If nothing is done to control this trend, a time will soon come when we will be left with no effective antibiotic. The other major problem is that the higher antibiotics are very costly and most patients cannot afford such antibiotics,” said Dr Shrirang Bichu, nephrologist at Bombay hospital.

Salient features of Kerala antibiotic policy

  1. Preparing antibiotic sensitivity patterns of community acquired and hospital acquired infection- According to doctors, every hospital or community will see same kind of infection. Knowing the sensitivity pattern will help the doctor prescribe right.

  2. Regulating antibiotics – Every hospital should have a regulatory mechanism for prescribing antibiotics. This is to avoid misuse or overuse in the hospital. Ensuring the duration of the antibiotics.

  3. Auditing all the patients who died of infection to understand type of infection and antibiotics used in the treatment.