India Draws Red Line to Combat Antibiotic Over-prescription

In an effort to curb the over-prescription of antibiotics, the Indian government will alter the packaging on certain medicines to differentiate them from other drugs. A red vertical line will be added to antibiotic packaging in order to spread mass awareness against the misuse of antibiotics — which can result in antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

As of September 2015, India was ranked as the top country in the world for antibiotic use by the center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy. The World Health Organization and other international groups have suggested that countries around the world need to cut down on antibiotic usage as diseases including tuberculosis, malaria, urinary tract infection, and HIV build resistance to drugs. In India alone, over 2.3 million new cases of TB are diagnosed every year. According to British officials, if nothing else is done to address the problem, common bacterial infections will become fatal and over 20 million Indian lives would be lost by 2050.