New rules to buy antibiotics

Posted: Monday, November 1, 2010 | Posted by Debajyoti Datta | Labels: , ,

In the wake of the New Delhi metallo - beta - lactamase 1 (NDM 1) hoopla, the Drug Controller General of India has decided to introduce new rules to curb the sales of over-the-counter antibiotics.

Now patients will need to have two copies of prescription for buying a medicine, one copy to be kept with the chemist. What does it mean for the doctors? Do they have to write double prescriptions? These are grey areas and the details are sketchy. Nothing can be said with surety unless the DGCI issues clear guidelines.

The approach is new and hopefully it will reduce the abuse of antibiotics although I have my doubts if this will succeed in reducing the use of over-the-counter antibiotics. Law itself has never been a problem in India, the enforcement of the law is the problem. The failure of the present system is not because of it's inadequacy but due to the fact that no one is enforcing the present drug control laws. When the new regulation comes in effect who is going to enforce it? Unless it is enforced properly it will eventually be rendered useless as the present system.

The DGCI is also planning to introduce a new schedule of drugs called HX.


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