Bhubaneswar: The Health & Family Welfare (H&FW) Department of the Odisha government has issued a directive to physicians, instructing them to explicitly state the indication, reason, or justification when prescribing anti-microbials in the public interest. Commissioner-cum-Secretary of the H&FW Department, Shalini Pandit, conveyed this directive in a communication issued on Wednesday to various healthcare authorities, including Directors of Health & FW Department, Superintendents of Government Medical Colleges and Hospitals, Superintendents of private Medical Colleges & Hospitals, and CDM & PHOs.
Pandit’s letter referenced a communication from the Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, dated January 1 of the current year. The national directive stressed the mandatory practice of specifying the indication when prescribing anti-microbials.
Pointing to reports, the H&FW Secretary underscored the significant threat posed by Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which endangers the progress made in modern medicine. The emergence of drug-resistant pathogens due to the misuse and overuse of anti-microbials not only results in treatment failures but also prolongs the periods of infectivity. Moreover, the high cost of second-line drugs may impede effective disease treatment in many individuals.
With new antibiotics in the Research & Development pipeline being limited, the Secretary highlighted the crucial need for prudent antibiotic use to delay resistance development. The Secretary urged doctors in Medical Colleges and peripheral Health Institutions to set examples of judicious anti-microbial use for future generations of doctors who might face a more severe crisis. Concurrently, pharmacists were reminded to adhere to Schedule-II and III of the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules, selling antibiotics only with valid prescriptions.
The directive stressed that all doctors must specify the exact indication on prescriptions when prescribing anti-microbials. The letter concluded by urging the circulation of the DGHS, Gol letter to all doctors in Medical Colleges (both Government and private) and peripheral Health Institutions. The aim is to instruct them to strictly adhere to the guidelines set by the Government of India and mandatorily mention the exact indication, reason, or justification when prescribing anti-microbials in the public interest.