HindustanTimes Thu,27 Nov 2014

90 more drugs get ‘essential’ tag, to become cheaper

Sidhartha Dutta, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 03, 2013
First Published: 00:03 IST(3/8/2013) | Last Updated: 00:05 IST(3/8/2013)

The Delhi government will include 90 more drugs in a new list of essential medicines to be released soon.


“Earlier, there were more than 300 drugs in the essential drugs’ list. Ninety more will be added and these drugs will cover most diseases, ranging from cold to cancer. The new list will be released sometime next week,” said Dr NV Kamat, director, Delhi Health Services.

The new drugs will be made available in the government hospitals free of cost and at cheapers rate in the open market.

The Delhi health ministry will also ask government hospitals to recruit radiologists mainly for operating ultrasound machines. “The government hospitals where there are no radiologists will be asked to hire qualified people according to their requirements.

They will work for two hours a day and be paid R1,000 per hour. This will reduce backlog of ultrasound scan tests in government hospitals,” Kamat added on the sidelines of an awareness programme on antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic Stewardship Network in India (ABSN), as a part of its mission against antibiotic resistance, has adopted popular cartoon character Chacha Choudhury as its mascot. The mission aims at sensitising the society as well as medical practitioners on the adverse consequences of the irrational use of antibiotics.

 “We need to change public perception about antibiotics. Self-medication should not be done and certain guidelines should be made about how antibiotics should be used rationally. It should not be used for common cold and seasonal diarrhea. If it is misused and not taken in proper dosage, the bacteria may become resistant to the drugs, and it’ll be difficult to find an alternative drug,” said Dr Kamat.

 “Antibiotics should only be used for bacterial infections. No new antibiotics are in the pipeline hence these drugs should be used rationally. Life of an antibiotic drug is short and research on new drugs has also reduced,” said Ashish Pathak, principal coordinator, ABSN.

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