Superbug issue: MoS for Health suggests inquiry

Consequent to the controversy over the superbug issue, Minister of State for Health Dinesh Trivedi has suggested a high-level inquiry into the overuse of anti-biotics in order to have an in-depth understanding of the matter.

Last Updated: Sep 09, 2010, 18:02 PM IST

New Delhi: Consequent to the controversy over
the superbug issue, Minister of State for Health Dinesh
Trivedi has suggested a high-level inquiry into the overuse of
anti-biotics in order to have an in-depth understanding of the
matter.

In a letter to Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad,
Trivedi said, "in order to have an in-depth understanding of
the (superbug) issue, I would like to suggest the formation of
a high-level committee headed by the DG, ICMR" V M Katoch.

After the reaction to the Lancet report, there is
widespread concern among experts, both Indian and foreign, on
the issue of over-usage of antibiotics, he said.

"The committee should try to undertake a six-month and
one-year study on the usage of wide spectrum antibiotics,
prescription trends among various doctors and their reaction
effects on the population," he said in the letter, sources
said.

The report may then be submitted to the Ministry for
further deliberation, he said adding awareness among
consumers, doctors and pharmacists may also be taken up
actively.

The Health Ministry had come out with a hard-hitting
statement after a paper published in scientific journal
`Lancet`, said the new superbug, which is said to be resistant
even to most powerful antibiotics, has entered UK hospitals
and is travelling with patients who had gone to countries like
India and Pakistan for surgical treatments.

It said the contents of the article present a
"frightening picture" which is not supported by any scientific
data.

The issue was also raised in the Rajya Sabha by members
who suspected the hands of multi-national pharmaceutical
companies and hospital chains behind the scientists` claim.

Recent reports indicate that the superbug has been
isolated in a patient in Tokyo who had travelled to India for
a surgery.

The Rs 1,200 crore Indian medical tourism industry is
making rapid progress providing treatment and surgeries to
global patients at significantly lower costs.

PTI