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Indian scheme to reduce antibiotic misuse is failing because of widespread ignorance, say pharmacists

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i3158 (Published 06 June 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3158
  1. Priyanka Pulla
  1. Bangalore

A scheme implemented by the Indian government in March 2014 to prevent antibiotic misuse is being hampered by low levels of patient education and poverty, clinicians have said.

Schedule H1 is a list of 46 drugs, including 24 antibiotics and 11 anti-tuberculosis drugs, for which pharmacists are required to maintain a log of sales for three years and which cannot be sold to patients without a doctor’s prescription.1 If they do not comply with the schedule pharmacists are liable to lose their licences.

But widespread ignorance about antibiotic resistance among both doctors and patients is making it difficult for pharmacists to adhere to the regulation. Despite this, most Indian state governments have not yet started educational campaigns on antibiotic use. “There …

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