Antibiotic resistance increasing at alarming rate

  • August 07, 2014

In Vietnam, the majority of antibiotics are sold at drugstores without a prescription, with most of the old generations of antibiotics and even new ones ineffective.

Antibiotic resistance, drug resistance

Speaking at a conference on Tuesday, Mr. Cao Hung Thai, Deputy Director of the Medical Care Administration of the Health Ministry, spoke about increasing drug resistance in the country because of the overuse of antibiotics.

"Purchasing antibiotics at pharmacies in our country today is as easy as buying vegetables. Vietnamese people have the habit of using antibiotics as rice. Everyone who is sick buys antibiotics from drugstores to treat himself," said Dr. Nguyen Van Kinh, director of the Central Tropical Diseases Hospital at the conference.

According to regulations, antibiotics must be sold by prescription but the regulations are ignored at all drugstores. Up to 90% of antibiotics are sold without prescriptions, while many drug sellers are often inexperienced, a survey conducted in 2010 with nearly 3,000 drugstores in both rural and urban areas in northern provinces revealed.

Antibiotics contribute 13% of revenue of drugstores in urban areas and nearly 19% in rural areas.

Doctors currently use several types of antibiotics for treatment. Research of 443 medical records at the Hue Central Hospital in 2012 showed that only one medical record prescribed one kind of antibiotic. Forty-two records had two types of antibiotics, and 34 records with more than six types of antibiotics.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen said that the problem of drug resistance was reported from the late 60s, but the increase in drug resistance to bacteria has become a major risk to people.

Infectious diseases account for a large proportion of the diseases in Vietnam, and as such, antibiotics are essential.

The Ministry of Health will ask local health departments to strengthen inspections of prescriptions and sale of antibiotics in hospitals and pharmacies.

Le Ha

source: vietnamnet


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