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Overuse of “Watch” Group Antibiotics in India



  Jan 23, 2024

Overuse of “Watch” Group Antibiotics in India



Q1: What are “Watch” group antibiotics?

A1: “Watch” group antibiotics, as classified by the World Health Organization (WHO), are a category of medicines recommended to be reserved for severe infections. This is to minimize the risk of antimicrobial resistance.

Q2: Why is the overuse of “Watch” group antibiotics a concern in India?

A2: Overuse leads to increased antibiotic resistance, making it harder to treat common infections. In India, over 55% of antibiotic prescriptions are from the “Watch” group, indicating a high level of overuse.

Q3: What percentage of infections in India involve antibiotic-resistant bacteria?

A3: For many antibiotic-bacterium combinations in India, over 75% of infections involve resistant bacteria. This high rate of resistance is alarming and poses a significant public health challenge.

Q4: Which antibiotic group has the highest resistance among Indian patients?

A4: The third generation cephalosporins group, which includes antibiotics like ceftriaxone, ceftazidime, and cefotaxime, shows the highest resistance among Indian patients.

Q5: How does antibiotic resistance in India compare to other countries?

A5: India, along with countries like Russia, Egypt, and Pakistan, has high antibiotic resistance rates. In contrast, developed countries like Norway, Finland, Netherlands, and the U.K. have significantly lower resistance rates due to responsible antibiotic usage.

Q6: What is the AWaRe classification by WHO?

A6: AWaRe, developed by WHO, categorizes antibiotics into “Access”, “Watch”, and “Reserve” based on their impact on antimicrobial resistance. “Access” group antibiotics are preferred due to their minimal resistance potential, while “Watch” and “Reserve” categories have more restricted use.

Q7: What is India’s consumption pattern of “Watch” group antibiotics?

A7: About 59% of total antibiotic consumption in India is from the “Watch” group, which increased to 64% during the pandemic. This contrasts with the WHO recommendation that 60% of total antibiotic consumption in a country should be from the “Access” group.

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