ICMR releases Antimicrobial Stewardship Guidelines to ensure judicious use of antibiotics in hospitals

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has released Antimicrobial Stewardship Guidelines to advise hospitals in setting up Antimicrobial Stewardship Programmes (AMSP) to ensure judicious use of antibiotics in healthcare facilities. AMS guidelines aims to provide guidance in setting up structure and processes of AMSP in healthcare institutions, discusses essential elements of antimicrobial stewardship and diagnostic stewardship and provide information on tools that can be used to measure progress.

What is AMSP?

It is hospital-based programmes dedicated to improving antibiotic use. It is helpful in improving quality of patient care and safety through increased infection cure rates, reducing treatment failures and increasing the frequency of correct prescription for therapy and prophylaxis

Need for AMSP

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major public health challenge. Since inappropriate use of antibiotics is rampant in India, there is urgent need to improve antibiotic use in hospitals. The increasing consumption of antibiotics is one of  key drivers of antimicrobial resistance seen in bugs.
Some of the key factors driving antimicrobial resistance in our country are irrational prescription of broad-spectrum antibiotics, poor regulations around sale of antibiotics, self-medication, lack of education and awareness regarding responsible use of antibiotics.
National Health Policy, 2017, terms antimicrobial resistance as one of key healthcare issues and prioritises development of guidelines regarding antibiotic use, limiting over-the-counter use of antibiotics and restricting use of antibiotics as growth promoters in livestock. It is important to use the existing drugs judiciously.

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