The Minister of Health, Carla Vizzettipointed out this Tuesday that the law for the Prevention and Control of Antimicrobial Resistance whose enactment he announced before the Federal Health Council (Cofesa)is “a powerful tool” to avoid the rejection of pathogenic microorganisms that cause diseases to the effect of the drugs used to combat them.
It is necessary that the application of the new law reaches “every corner of the country”, Vizzotti emphasized during the meeting with representatives of all the jurisdictions in the Cofesa that met in the Kirchner Cultural Center (CCK).
The law “has to reach every corner of the countryboth from what a highly complex hospital means, a health center, in primary care, in Remediar and also in pharmacies,” said the minister during the presentation.
In turn, Vizzotti indicated that it is necessary “to advance strongly with the provincial plan” of each jurisdiction, to “start working very hard on regulation and implementation.”
And he added that although “the challenge is enormous, we have a powerful tool“.
What is Antimicrobial Resistance
Antimicrobial Resistance occurs when pathogenic microorganisms (viruses, fungi, parasites, but mainly bacteria) that cause diseases become resistant to the drugs that combat them.
It is a global problem and it is estimated that by 2050 it may become the leading cause of death worldwide.
The use of antibiotics in any circumstance can promote the development of resistance, which is why one of the main strategies to limit and contain this problem is the restriction of the use of antimicrobials to situations in which they are essential or irreplaceable.
For her part, the infectologist Laura Barcelonacoordinator of the Program for the Appropriate Use of Antimicrobials of the Ministry of Health of the Nation, explained to Télam that in antimicrobial resistance “all the worlds of what is animal health, human health, environment and food are interrelated. The problem reflects it very globally and the solution also has to come like this, because it is quite hidden”.
“The truth is that people don’t know that self-medicating with antibiotics is wrong and that viral infections are not cured with antibioticsQuite the contrary, since it damages my intestinal flora,” the specialist asserted.
At the same time, he stressed that “all levels of health personnel should be educated to be very conscientious when it comes to indicating antibiotics, and this should only be done when we are really facing a bacterial infection, because most of infections in the community are all viral. We have to do a culture change.”
How the new law will help
In this way, Barcelona highlighted that The law will seek the prevention of infections through the “appropriate, adequate and conscious consumption of antimicrobials, both in human health and in animal health.”
One of the main aspects highlighted by the specialist was that the sale of antibiotics will include “always an archived prescription, in which the diagnosis must be recorded”, since “it is very important to monitor it, and we must work on control”.
Likewise, all promotions in mass media of what is the sale of antimicrobials are “totally prohibited, except those that have topical activity, but what has systemic activity, which is what impacts resistance, is prohibited,” he said.
Meanwhile, he explained that “we are working so that in a few months all the boxes of antimicrobials have the exact duration of what the treatments are, because there is a problem that the boxes come with three tablets or 15. And the patient needs seven, then, either he takes the wrong treatment and that promotes resistance because the patient relapses, or he has leftover tablets and promotes self-medication. So the treatment if there are seven, the box has to have seven, “said the specialist.
The law, approved on August 10, requires the supervision of infections associated with health care, hospitals and intensive care and provides for the generation of a national plan to control diseases caused by resistant agents.
Likewise, it is expected that the medicine boxes will be printed with the legend “This medicine can cause antimicrobial resistance”.
The initiative also refers to animal health and as a growth factor for the poultry and livestock industry.
In this sense, the creation of a national interministerial commission between the Health and Agriculture portfolios is planned, to establish “limits and a reduction of growth factors such as antimicrobials and a list of those products that can only be used in health as the only therapeutic alternatives against certain bacteria”.
Finally, although it does not prohibit the delivery of so-called “free samples”, it requires a prescription and for an amount that covers the entire treatment.