Stop selling antibiotics on the streets


THE medical profession is worried about drug resistance which has the potential to render all their hard work ineffective against some the most common killer diseases.
Ignorant people have long held myths about cure-all drugs and have been selling or buying them. One of the most common manufactured drugs that had been sold on the streets is amoxicillin.
According to the website Medical News Today, amoxicillin, a prescription antibiotic is used to treat infections caused by a certain type of bacteria.
It may be used as part of a combination therapy.
This means you may need to take it with other medications.
Amoxicillin comes as a capsule and a suspension.
All forms are taken by mouth.
It is a prescription drug but is being sold (without prescriptions) on the streets in major centres throughout the country.
Antibiotic resistance happens when germs such as bacteria and fungi develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them.
That means the germs are not killed and continue to grow.
Infections caused by antibiotic-resistant germs are difficult, and sometimes impossible to treat.
In most cases, antibiotic-resistant infections require extended hospital stays, additional follow-up doctor visits and costly and toxic alternatives.
Antibiotic resistance does not mean the body is becoming resistant to antibiotics; it is that bacteria have become resistant to the antibiotics designed to kill them.
Antibiotic resistance has the potential to affect people at any stage of life, as well as the healthcare, veterinary and agriculture industries, making it one of the world’s most urgent public health problems.
Penicillin, the first commercialised antibiotic, was discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming.
Ever since, there has been discovery and acknowledgement of resistance alongside the discovery of new antibiotics.
In fact, germs will always look for ways to survive and resist new drugs.
More and more, germs are sharing their resistance with one another, making it harder for us to keep up. We raise this issue because it has come to light that some people have started selling tuberculosis (TB) drugs.
Although he was not aware of such an incident or report, Port Moresby General Hospital CEO Dr Paki Molumi has urged the public to be careful and not buy such drugs from street sellers.
Selling antibiotics on the streets is dangerous but peddling TB drugs is worse.
PNG has one of the worst infection rates of multi-drug resistant TB in the region and this kind of reckless behaviour, if found to be happening, should be stopped forthwith.
Those who try to sell such medicines just do not understand the gravity of the country’s TB.
When you sell these kinds of drugs, especially antibiotics on the streets, patients are inadequately treated because they do not have any prescription to get the correct dosages, which means the bugs are not treated well and they become resistant to the particular drug.
Once disease-causing bugs become resistant, a much stronger drug would be required to kill them.
If such a stronger drug is not taken in correct dosages, there will come a time when no drug is going to work against whatever the ailment might be.
One final point, TB drugs are supplied for free by the Department of Health so if social media reports are proven true, clearly someone out there is trying to make money from people suffering from a dreaded killer disease.