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| Last Updated:01/02/2019

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Govt makes it compulsory for pharmacists to provide details of TB patients

The UP health department’s decision to make it mandatory for pharmacists to routinely provide details of people buying 13 tuberculosis drugs falling under Schedule H1 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act comes in the wake of an increasing number drug-resistant patients. According to a 2016 study conducted by the microbiology department at Banaras Hindu University’s Institute of Medical Sciences, every second TB patient in UP could be resistant to primary line of treatment.

“You are directed to note that it is compulsory for all pharmacists and medical store owners to keep a record of the sale of 13 TB drugs which fall under Schedule H-1. It has come to notice that due to irregular sale of these drugs, an increase has been reported in multi-drug resistance (MDR) and extensively drug resistant (XDR) TB cases. All of you are directed to ensure that pharmacists provide a monthly report in this regard to the chief medical officer and the district tuberculosis officer,” read the order issue by AK Jain, drugs controlling and licensing authority, UP.

Some of the TB medicines falling under Schedule H1 include ethionamide, ethambutol hydrochloride, cyloserine, capreomyicn, pyrazinamide, moxifloxacin and clofazimine.

Dr Alok Ranjan, UP tuberculosis officer, told TOI that around 10% of TB patients in the state are resistant to drugs. “The number of such patients has increased in the past. This happens mostly because some patients decided to discontinue medicines on their own. Once the symptoms recur, they have to start a fresh course and over a period of time become drug resistant. That is why it has been made mandatory for medical stores to keep a record of TB patients,” he said.

Earlier this month, the UP government had directed the chief medical officers of 25 “high risk” districts to conduct a door-to-door survey for early detection, diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis cases. Officials said that these surveys will be started from December 26.