Pharmacists’ licences would be cancelled for over-the-counter (OTC) sale of antibiotics without prescription, says health minister Veena George.
In response to the rising antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the state, the Kerala health department has decided to curb OTC sale of all antibiotics. The panel also decided to isolate the Carbapenem-resistant bacteria, which is the last resort antibiotic left to treat bacterial infections.
At the annual meeting of the Kerala Antimicrobial Resistance Strategic Action Plan (KARSAP) in Thiruvananthapuram, the decision was made to stop the sale of antibiotics over the counter without a prescription.
It is mandatory for every hospital in the state to immediately inform the Health department about their Carbapenem-resistant bacterial isolates stocks.
AMR is increasing at an alarming rate, not just in humans but also in aquaculture, animal husbandry, fisheries and other environmental sectors. Kerala is the first state to release the antibiogram for 2021. The AMR surveillance data provided a reality check to the state by reporting the extent of AMR roots, and the report says resistance to antibiotics has breached the last resort antibiotics, including Carbapenems.