A Supreme Court lawyer yesterday filed a writ petition with the High Court seeking its order on the government to take necessary steps to stop sale of antibiotic drugs to people without doctors’ prescriptions.
Submitting the petition as a public interest litigation, barrister Sayedul Haque Suman prayed to the court to issue a rule on the authorities concerned to explain why the sale of antibiotic drugs without prescription should not be declared illegal.
The health secretary, public administration secretary, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services and the deputy commissioners of all 64 districts have been made respondents to the petition.
The lawyer told The Daily Star that the HC may hold hearing on his petition today.
Citing from the petition, he said on many occasions antibiotic drugs are reportedly sold to people without doctors’ prescriptions and those don’t work for patients due to excessive use.
Quoting a senior doctor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, the lawyer in the petition said antimicrobial resistance superbug could be responsible for up to 80 percent deaths in the largest intensive care units of the country.
Prof Sayedur Rahman, chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at the BSMMU, told British daily The Telegraph that out of approximately 900 patients admitted to the BSMMU ICU last year, around 400 died.
Around 80 percent of those deaths were attributed to bacterial or fungal infections that were resistant to antibiotics, said the physician.
Barrister Suman annexed the Telegraph report published on April 22 with the writ petition. The British newspaper referred to a report published in The Daily Star on April 8.
The report under the headline “A big cause for health concern” highlighted the overuse of antibiotics behind the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Citing a study, it also stated that 70pc deaths in hospital ICUs were linked to AMR.
Experts have suggested that the government should take immediate measures to stop indiscriminate use of antibiotic drugs.