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March NaN, 1999

Combating Antimicrobial Resistance in India

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;281(12):1081-1082. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-12-jbk0324

To the Editor: The points raised by Dr Burke1 regarding antimicrobial resistance are important and applicable throughout the world. In India, overprescribing of antibiotics is rampant. Therapy with antimicrobial combinations is usually started even before culture specimens are sent to the laboratory, or clinicians may not even bother to send such a sample.2 Upper respiratory tract infections are usually due to viruses, and in the absence of a culture, patients receive uncalled-for antibiotics, which is a drain on the patients' resources and encourages the development of bacterial resistance.3 Because patients have easy access to antibiotics over-the-counter, self-medication is common and often incomplete; once patients get relief symptomatically, they stop taking the antibiotics. They may be unaware of the correct dose and duration.

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