Antibiotic resistance is a global public health threat and one of particular concern in India. A mix of poor public health systems, high rates of infectious disease, inexpensive antibiotics, and rising incomes are is coming together to increase prevalence of resistant pathogens and is increasing the burden of untreatable neonatal sepsis and health-care-associated infections. However, a few urgent priorities for immediate implementation could make a difference according to Ramanan Laxminarayan from the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, Washington DC, United States, and Ranjit Roy Chaudhury, from Apollo Hospitals Educational and Research Foundation, New Delhi, India, writing in an Essay published in this week's PLOS Medicine.
The authors note, "Over-the-counter access to antibiotics is a problem, but regulations to restrict access have to be balanced against the need to maintain access for the significant proportion of the population that lacks access to doctors. Indeed, lack of access to effective and affordable antibiotics still kills more children in India than does drug resistance"
The authors argue that better regulation in India to curb overuse of antibiotics being sold over the counter and as growth promoters for livestock, alongside efforts to promote behaviour change and improve India's health system could help to curb rising antibiotic resistance.
Time spent on this paper was supported by the Global Antibiotic Resistance Partnership funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Laxminarayan R, Chaudhury RR (2016) Antibiotic Resistance in India: Drivers and Opportunities for Action. PLoS Med 13(3): e1001974. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001974
Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, Washington, D.C., United States of America
Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, United States of America
Public Health Foundation of India, New Delhi, India
Apollo Hospitals Educational and Research Foundation, New Delhi, India
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