ISLAMABAD: Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Asim Rauf recently stressed the need for stopping irrational use of antibiotics because it might lead to the emergence of superbug anytime.
DRAP CEO was speaking at a consultative workshop on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
He said as the whole world was engaged in fighting with COVID-19, the emergence of any superbug can be devastating as it will become next to impossible to control it.
He said globally 700,000 people die of AMR every year but by 2050 the number can reach 10 million per year.
Since bacteria have internal intelligence, it changes itself according to medicine and creates resistance against antibiotics because of their excessive use.
In the past bacteria could be killed with low potency medicines but now for the same virus, high potency medicines are required which is due to AMR.
On the other hand, when antibiotics fail to work the consequences are longer-lasting illnesses, more doctor visits or extended hospital stays, and the need for more expensive and toxic antibiotics, he said.
In some cases, antibiotic-resistant infections can lead to serious disability or even death.
Moreover, as the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates the cost of management would be $100trillion by 2050 if nothing is done to reverse the trend.
Earlier, the DRAP CEO said in April 2019 the authority had finally decided to regulate its sale in the federal capital and as a first step an advisory was issued to all medical stores to ensure that antibiotics were not sold without prescriptions.
Moreover, medical stores were asked to maintain the record of antibiotics and their sale, including copies of the prescriptions but it could not be implemented, Dr Rauf said.
While talking to the media, CEO DRAP said that over the years the registration of new antibiotics had decreased.
“There are different reasons such as companies spend billions of dollars on research but AMR is developed in six months. Moreover, as already a large number of chemicals are available in the market, more energy and funding is required to find new and effective chemicals,” he said.
During the workshop, conducted by Fleming Fund Country Grant Pakistan, training was given to stakeholders of the health sector