KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry should provide information on the antibiogram or antibiotic resistance-sensitivity pattern of bacteria in the community to assist general practitioners (GPs) in the choice of antibiotics to prescribe, says Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).
Its president Dr Mohamed Namazie Ibrahim (pic) said the antibiogram of hospitals may be different from that in the community.
“The data has to be collected from private laboratories and this can only be done by the ministry.
“We need guidance from the ministry for GPs, on the current antibiotic resistance-sensitivity patterns to be distributed to the medical practitioners as it would help provide for rational use of antibiotics,” he said yesterday after the announcement of the survey results that gauge the level of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) awareness among 704 Malaysians in Selangor.
Dr Namazie said rational use of medicines requires that “patients receive medications appropriate to their clinical needs, in doses that meet their own individual requirements, for an adequate period of time, and at the lowest cost to them and their community.”
WHO estimated that more than half of all medicines are prescribed, dispensed or sold inappropriately, and that half of all patients fail to take them correctly or did not complete the course, he said.
“There is definitely overuse, underuse or misuse of medicines resulting in wastage of scarce resources and widespread health hazards,” he said.
He added that there were 7,000 GPs in the country who often treat patients who demand antibiotics and doctors would need to communicate with them on the AMR concerns.
“AMR is a disaster waiting to happen. This is where we need to be rational in the way we prescribe antibiotics,” he said.
Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society president Amrahi Buang said patients should not ask community pharmacists to sell them antibiotics without prescription because they were not allowed to sell them under the law without a prescription.
He also urged pharmacists to teach patients some simple remedies to relieve symptoms and pain instead of over consuming medicine.
National Antimicrobial Resistance Committee coordinator for Human Health Datuk Dr Christopher Lee said the Health Ministry started to collect data on antibiogram in communities and will hand over to the MMA when there are sufficient data to be shared.The 2014 national antibiotic guidelines are available on the Health Ministry’s website which also has a section for common outpatient infections.
The new edition is in its final review and is expected to be published later this year.
“In this new edition, there is a section specifically for common infections care (complete with treatment algorithms).
“We shall be sharing this with MMA as guidance for their members,” he said.
Dr Lee said AMR is an international global threat.
“Some of our patients in ICU infected with multidrug resistance bacteria die because we do not have any medicines to treat them,” said Dr Lee who is also deputy director-general of health (research and technical support).