WHO urges nations to address antibiotic resistance problem

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

THE World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on all countries to take appropriate actions against the emerging problem of anti-microbial resistance (AMR).

In a statement, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Dr. Shin Young-soo said immediate actions are necessary to prevent rendering antibiotics useless.

"Actions across all government sectors and society is required now if we don't want to face a new post-antibiotic era," said Shin.

AMR is defined as cases when bacteria or other microbes become resistant to the effects of a drug after being exposed to it.

"Anti-microbial resistance threatens the effective prevention and treatment of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi," said Shin.

The WHO said the use and misuse of anti-microbial drugs accelerates the emergence of drug-resistant strains of microorganisms.

In an apparent response to the WHO's call, the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is urging both physicians and pharmacists to provide the public the adequate counseling on how to use drug products.

According to FDA Advisory 2014-057, there is a need to provide patient counseling on matters such as taking the right dose and proper administration of prescribed drugs, as well as potential adverse drug reactions or events.

"More than any legal obligation or accepted practice, it is an ethical and moral responsibility of all healthcare professionals to ensure that patients receive the highest possible level of care," said the FDA.

"It is in this context that the FDA, hereby, encourages all physician and pharmacists to practice patient counseling with the use of drug products," it added.

For physicians, the FDA said patients should receive counseling on the importance of seeking immediate medical attention for serious adverse drug reactions that the patient may experience during treatment.

On the other hand, pharmacists are urged to provide patient counseling that focuses on proper use of drug products by providing supplementary information found in package inserts or patient information leaflets and should clarify any instructions given by the physician.

The FDA said the need to provide patient counseling was determined after the agency's series of consultations with healthcare professionals.

"It was revealed that one of the major contributors to the irrational use or drug safety issues with drugs is lack of patient counseling medicines," it said. (HDT/Sunnex)

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