Colour-coded antibiotics to stop misuse | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Colour-coded antibiotics to stop misuse

Antibiotic medicines will soon be colour-coded to avoid overuse and misuse, which create drug-resistant superbugs that cannot be destroyed using the current crop of medicines.

delhi Updated: Apr 07, 2011 01:01 IST
HT Correspondent

Antibiotic medicines will soon be colour-coded to avoid overuse and misuse, which create drug-resistant superbugs that cannot be destroyed using the current crop of medicines.

Antibiotics will be colour-coded on the basis of toxicity, efficacy and other parameters under the newly-drafted Antibiotic Resistance Policy expected to be rolled out in a couple of months.

In all, 536 antibiotics will be colour-coded. Issues addressed in the policy include over-the-counter sale of prescription antibiotics, the absence of a standard treatment protocol for prescription of antibiotics and fake medicines.

"We'll ensure a protocol is followed everywhere. There should be a deterrent for violators," said Dr VM Katoch, director-general, Indian Council of Medical Research.

"You can get prescription drugs over the counter in many places and these have the potential of being over-used or misused, resulting in long-term side effects and drug-resistant organisms. The new policy will help check the loopholes responsible for their misuse," said Dr Nata Menabde, World Health Organisation representative to India.

WHO has provided technical assistance to the government in formulating the policy.

Popping antibiotics indiscriminately results in the bacteria becoming resistant to the first line of antibiotics, forcing doctors to prescribe stronger, more toxic and more expensive drugs to treat the disease.

The drugs needed to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, for example, are 100 times more expensive than standard drugs.