India lauded for Medicines with the Red Line campaign on antibiotics

The Global Review on Antimicrobial Resistance in its final report has appreciated India’s Medicines with the Red Line campaign on antibiotics.
The global review was commissioned by the UK Prime Minister David Cameron in 2014 and was chaired by economist Jim O’Neil.
Key highlights of the report

  • India’s model of putting a red line on antibiotic packages to curb their over-the-counter sale can be used globally to counter the rising threat of superbugs.
  • The campaign should be considered as a starting point to curb overuse of antibiotics and the labelling and symbols can be used globally.
  • The sale of antibiotics and other antimicrobials over-the-counter is prevented by laws, but their weakly enforcement in some countries and non-existent in many is serious problem.
  • By 2050, deaths due to antimicrobial resistance could rise to 10 million each year if action is not taken and it will cost the global economy $100 trillion.

India’s Medicines with the Red Line campaign

  • The campaign was launched in February 2016 by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to tackle the problem of growing misuse of antibiotics across the country.
  • Its aim was to curb irrational use of antibiotics and create awareness on the side effects of taking antibiotics without prescription.
  • Under it, all prescription only antibiotics should be marked with a vertical red line on the packets.
  • The red line antibiotics packets should be consumed on doctor’s advice and the patients need to complete the full course prescribed by the doctor.



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