"We have received some proposals from experts and are examining them to frame a new policy," Health Secretary Keshav Desiraju said on Saturday.

In 2011, the ministry came out with a antibiotics policy draft, which was shelved after protests on a few provisions. According to the earlier proposal, several drugs were to be sold only against prescriptions while others would be available only for hospital use and not in pharmacies.

Experts claim that an antibiotics policy is important to ensure that obstinate strains of antibiotics do not develop. This is especially so in corporate and private hospitals where the use of expensive antibiotics is more common, they said.

The need for such a policy arose after leading general medical journal Lancet noted in a report in 2010 the emergence of a new enzyme in India that made bacteria resistant to all known antibiotics. India had taken objection to the name New Delhi Metallo-1 given to the enzyme.


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