An infection doctor can expect to pay upwards of Rs 1,000 for a single prescription for antibiotics, according to a survey published on Monday by a non-profit group.
Dr. Natarajan Kumar, president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), which has been monitoring antibiotic prescriptions, said that India’s total annual prescription for the drug has grown to about Rs 6,000 crore, which is more than double the amount prescribed in the US and the UK.
The survey by the IMA and the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Rajasthan, showed that in the last two years, the country has seen a staggering rise in antibiotic prescriptions as a result of an epidemic of antibiotic-resistant infections.
Dr Kumar said that in 2014, more than 7 million prescriptions were issued, a rise of 60% compared to the previous year.
This is an increase of 80% compared with the years 2015-16 and 2016-17.
The biggest reason for this increase was the spread of antibiotics, he added.
The IMA also said that during the past decade, the number of infections in India has risen from 3,800 to more than 5,500, an increase that is attributed to the increase in the use of antibiotics.
In the last few years, India has seen an increase in antibiotic use in hospitals, as the country’s government and health care providers are concerned about the increasing number of resistant infections.
According to Kumar, the reason for the increase is the growth in the number and type of infections, which in turn, increases the need for antibiotics.
The increased use of these drugs in hospitals has led to a decrease in the incidence of antibiotic resistance, he said.
This trend has also led to an increase the use by health care professionals of antibiotics that are resistant to existing antibiotics, Kumar said.
The number of patients requiring antibiotic treatment has also risen, and now there are over 4 million patients requiring antibiotics in the country, he noted.