In August 2012 at the Clinical Infectious Diseases Society conference in Chennai, a road-map was laid out to tackle the problem of increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. This is popularly known as the Chennai Declaration. It envisages that within 5 years, 90% of all antibiotics should be included in Schedule H1 and be sold only on the prescription of a registered medical practitioner.
In addition to healthcare professionals, there were representatives from World Health Organisation (WHO), Medical Council of India (MCI), Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), National Accreditation Board of Hospitals (NABH), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and policy makers from central and state governments.
The September 2013 changes to Drugs and Cosmetics Act is a first step in the direction laid out by the Chennai Declaration.
Other recommendation from this roadmap meeting:
1. DCGI to rationalize drug usage in the country
2. Infection Control Team (ICT) to be made mandatory in all hospitals. NABH to insist on this during accreditation process
3. MCI to make curriculum changes to cover antibiotic usage and infecton control and undergraduate level
4. ICMR to allocate funds for research on antimicrobial resistance and drug development
5. Media and NGOs to take up campaigns for public awareness of dangers of antibiotic resistance