Min­istry bans buy­ing, sell­ing of an­tibi­otics with­out pre­scrip­tion

The Phnom Penh Post - - NATIONAL - Ye­se­nia Amaro

AMINISTRY of Health of­fi­cial yes­ter­day said the min­istry has banned the buy­ing and sell­ing of an­tibi­otics with­out a pre­scrip­tion in an ef­fort to curb the overuse that has led to an alarm­ing level of an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance in the Kingdom.

Ly So­vann, spokesman for the Min­istry of Health, said that the min­istry had is­sued a let­ter on the ban, but he couldn’t pro­vide a copy of the let­ter or re­call the date the order was is­sued. He also didn’t say what en­force­ment mea­sures the min­istry was tak­ing to im­ple­ment the ban.

“Cur­rently, the MoH [the Min­istry of Health] bans us­ing an­tibi­otics with­out a pre­scrip­tion,” he said.

The ban is meant to counter the overuse and mis­use of an­tibi­otics, which leads to re­sis­tance and lim­its the drugs that are able to treat in­fec­tious dis­eases.

One Ph­nom Penh phar­ma­cist, who de­clined to pro­vide her name, said yes­ter­day that she had re­ceived the min­istry’s let­ter, which also had in­for­ma­tion about train­ing ses­sions on an­tibi­otic mis­use.

The owner added that she now re­quired her clients to show a doc­tor’s pre­scrip­tion for an­tibi­otics – un­less they ap­peared to be se­ri­ously ill, she said.

How­ever, three other phar­ma­cies vis­ited yes­ter­day were openly sell­ing var­i­ous an­tibi­otics over the counter. Saing Sengkhy, owner of Lika Phar­macy, said he was con­tin­u­ing to sell an­tibi­otics as usual since he hadn’t re­ceived any no­ti­fi­ca­tion from the min­istry in­form­ing him of any changes.

“The cul­ture of Cam­bo­dian peo­ple . . . when they get sick is go­ing to the phar­macy, not go­ing to the doc­tor,” he said.

The is­sue of an­timi­cro­bial re­sis­tance ex­tends to the An­i­mal Kingdom as well, ac­cord­ing to Tum Sothyra, di­rec­tor of the Na­tional An­i­mal Health and Pro­duc­tion Re­search In­sti­tute.

Speak­ing af­ter an “An­tibi­otic Aware­ness Week” event yes­ter­day, Sothyra said that the Law on An­i­mal Health banned over­the-counter an­tibi­otic sales for live­stock, but “in real sit­u­a­tions, peo­ple can get it ev­ery­where”.

He added that the Gen­eral Direc­torate of An­i­mal Health and Pro­duc­tion was de­vel­op­ing a sub-de­cree and prakas to strengthen en­force­ment of the law.

Mean­while, So­vann said the Health Min­istry is pi­lot­ing a pro­gramme to ex­am­ine mi­cro­bial re­sis­tance in sev­eral hos­pi­tals through­out the coun­try.

“The goal is to mon­i­tor an­tibi­otics re­sis­tance and best use of an­tibi­otics for the pa­tients,” he said.

PHA LINA

A phar­ma­cist sorts an­tibi­otics at a phar­macy yes­ter­day in Ph­nom Penh.

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