New law to curb misuse of antibiotics

A commendable move to stop sale of antibiotics without prescription

Published : 07 Feb 2023 08:37 PM

The Cabinet on Monday gave the final approval to the draft of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 2023 banning the sale of antibiotic drugs without prescription from a registered doctor. The approval came from the weekly Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office. According to the draft law, if antibiotic drugs are sold without the prescription, the shopper will be fined Tk 20,000. Besides, in the draft law, the provision of maximum life imprisonment has been proposed for creating crisis by illegally stocking medicines and making adulterated medicines.

Antibiotics are not sold without prescriptions in the developed countries. However, in Bangladesh, one can just go to a pharmacy and get whatever  wants. Though there is no national-level statistics on the use of antibiotics in the country, researchers based on surveys address the situation as dire.

Antibiotics are sold without prescription almost everywhere, and people use them often for any common malady, even cold and viral fevers. Thus overuse of antibiotics without proper medical supervision is threatening lives in Bangladesh. Such careless use of antibiotics, coupled with the common practice of deviating from the prescribed courses, is giving rise to antibiotic-resistant infections. Therefore, authorities concerned should imply a range of actions to stop misuse of antibiotics and ban the sale of these drugs at pharmacies without prescription.

Authorities concerned should imply

 a range of actions to stop 

misuse of antibiotics

Antibiotic resistance is a worldwide problem that is increasing at varying rates in different regions. Bacteria-fighting drugs known as antibiotics help control and destroy many of the harmful organisms that make people sick. But overuse and misuse of antibiotics prompt some strains of bacteria to make a small change in their DNA and become antibiotic-resistant “superbugs”. Globally, superbugs are responsible for seven lakh deaths each year; the number could be more than 10 million by 2050 if things go unchecked, according to WHO.

Reportedly, more than 30 per cent people in the capital have become resistant to antibiotics. This is indeed an antibiotic resistance catastrophe as a result of their excessive use. In order to limit it, a regulatory system should be introduced.  If we are unable to stop the practice, at one point all the antibiotics in the world will become useless, and bacteria and disease will become rampant. That is why it is very important that we tackle this issue as soon as possible with the highest level of efficiency. Also, emphasising the need for ensuring the proper use of antibiotics, doctors need to evaluate the effectiveness of their treatment and antibiotics must be prescribed only if unavoidable.