Hyderabad, May 19 There is a need to improve  antimicrobial innovation, accessibility, and stewardship practices to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in India, according to a research report. 

The new report was  released by the Indian School of Business’ Max Institute of Healthcare Management and the Center for Global Development.

More than a million people die in India every year with a drug-resistant pathogen. Factors compounding AMR include the widespread overuse and misuse of antibiotics, both in hospitals and in the home.

While the National Action Plan on AMR launched by the government in 2017 attempts to address some of the issues, the plan lacks a focus on drug procurement, access, and stewardship practices. Moreover, only four States—Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, New Delhi, and Andhra Pradesh­—have action plans to contain the spread of AMR.

Sarang Deo, Professor and Area Leader of Operations Management, Deputy Dean - Faculty and Research, and Executive Director of ISB Max Institute of Healthcare Management at the Indian School of Business said“The National Action Plan for AMR emphasises uninterrupted access to high-quality antimicrobial medicines. However, one needs innovative and implementable solutions that achieve this without leading to the overuse of antibiotics.”

This was especially important for small- and medium-sized hospitals that are less likely to have strong stewardship programmes and do not have requisite economies of scale in their operations, he added. 

To combat AMR, the report recommends modifying procurement practices, adding essential antimicrobials in State drug procurement lists, improving inter-state coordination, enhancing surveillance, and improving diagnostics facilities in hospitals, the report said.