Thursday, April 28, 2016

SOP for tackling antibiotics at hospital-level to be ready in India soon

Contributed by Siddarth D & Dr. Tamhankar

Microbiologists from six major hospitals of the country are scheduled to meet in New Delhi and finalise the draft of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to be used by hospitals to address antibiotic resistance. These six facilities  PGI in Chandigarh, JIPMER in Pondicherry, AIIMS in Delhi, CMC in Vellore, PD Hinduja in Mumbai, and Assam Medical College in Dibrugarh would develop the draft which would then be implemented in other health-facilities in the country.

The SOP will include antibiotic stewardship, methodology regarding defining a case or recording a case will, an infection control manual and steps to calculate infection rates. It would outline a systematic defining and managing  infection rates through a central software, pool the data making a national registry. The project is executed by AIIMS, Centres for Disease Control (USA) and Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). ICMR has already made four of the facilities: PGI in Chandigarh, JIPMER in Pondicherry, AIIMS in Delhi, CMC in Vellore as nodal centres for tracking drug resistances a few years back.

This is a great step forward in India as the country yet to have a set of SOPs for health-facilities that are contextual and implementable. The involvement of public and health private hospitals in developing the guidelines would increase its acceptability in India's fragmented healthcare system.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

By 2050 antibiotic resistance could claim more lives than Cancer: IMF Panel

Contributed by Siddarth D & Dr. Tamhankar
Last week at the IMF meeting in Washington, UK Chancellor George Osborne stated that 10 million people a year could die across the world by 2050. This was more than the number of people dying due to cancer each year. The Chancellor also warned of the economic cost of resistance which could cut global GDP by 3.5%, a cumulative cost of $100bn (£70bn). Thus, unless global action is taken, antimicrobial resistance will become an even greater threat than cancer currently is.

The panel which is part of the IMF's Annual Spring Meeting is being held in Washington DC and is looking at emerging economic concerns that could arise in the future. WHO representatives would also be attending the meeting to put forward health concerns that could result in economic challenges.

While there is recognition of the health impact of antibiotic resistance, the human costs and economic costs are seldom discussed. Given that pharmaceutical companies, drug manufacturers and the markets play a critical role in shaping healthcare outcomes and policies for antibiotic use, it is critical that bodies like the IMF are aware and act on health concerns due to antibiotic resistance. Without policies and incentives to regulate the drug market, the battle against antibiotic resistance would certainly be impossible to win.  

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