India has emerged as the world's largest consumer of antibiotics with a 62% increase in popping habits over the last decade.
As the world braces for its worst ever threat in the last century - global antibiotic resistance due to unnecessary and unregulated popping of antibiotics, an average Indian has been found to be popping over 11 antibiotic pills a year.
India's antibiotic use went up from 8 billion units in 2001 to 12.9 billion units in 2010.
The study "Global Trends in Antibiotic Consumption, 2000-2010," by scientists from ceton University has found that worldwide antibiotic use has risen a staggering 36% over those 10 years, with five countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) — responsible for more than three-quarters of that surge.
Among the 16 groups of antibiotics studied, cephalosporins, broad-spectrum penicillins and fluoroquinolones accounted for more than half of that increase, with consumption rising 55% from 2000 to 2010.
Speaking to TOI, one of the authors Ramanan Laxminarayan said "Indians consume around 11 antibiotic tablets per year. That's five days of antibiotics for every person in the country which is much lesser than the Chinese or Brazilians. An average Chinese popped 7 antibiotic pills a year. However both India and China's numbers are lesser than the Americans who on average pop 22 antibiotic pills a year. The paper confirms that global use of antibiotics is surging and specially in India".