The Department of Drug Administration is planning to enforce a ban on the sale of antibiotics without prescription.
Officials at the department said the step was aimed at curbing irrational use of antimicrobial drugs, which leads to severe repercussions. Due to weak monitoring and loopholes in the legal system, over-the-counter sales of antimicrobial drugs is widespread throughout the country.
“We have frequently discussed the ban on over-the-counter sales of antibiotics,” said Director General at the DDA, Naraya Prasad Dhakal. He informed that the DDA would also discuss with drug manufacturers about its new plan and seek their support to implement the ban.
According to DG Dhakal, the DDA would hire more drug inspectors to enforce the ban. National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL), under the Department of Health Services which monitors the effects of drugs, stated that excessive use and over-the-counter sales of antibiotics is a common trend throughout the country.
“In most cases, pharmacists give third generation antibiotics to the patients,” said, Director at the NPHL Dr Geeta Shakya. She said excessive use of antibiotics also leads to several complications, including drug resistance.
Shakya added that patients are habituated of buying antibiotics without consulting the doctor and said such habit is extremely unhealthy. The NPHL regularly examines the efficacy of various antibiotics and inform medical professionals about it.