The impact of stringent prescription-only antimicrobial sale regulation (Schedule H1) in India: an interrupted time series analysis, 2008–18
Objectives To assess the impact of Schedule H1 regulation notified and implemented in 2014 under the amended rules of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act (DCA), 1940 on the sale of antimicrobials in the private sector in India. Methods The dataset was obtained from the Indian pharmaceutical sales database, PharmaTrac. The outcome measure was the sales volume of antimicrobials in standard units (SUs). A quasi-experimental research design—interrupted time series analysis—was used to detect the impact of
... tect the impact of the intervention. Results We observed a substantial rise in antimicrobial consumption during 2008–18 in the private sector in India, both for antimicrobials regulated under Schedule H1 as well as outside the regulation. Key results suggested that post-intervention there was an immediate reduction (level change) in use of Schedule H1 antimicrobials by 10% (P = 0.007), followed by a sustained decline (trend change) in utilization by 9% (P > 0.000) compared with the pre-intervention trend. Segregated analysis on different antimicrobial classes suggests a sharp drop (level changes) and sustained decline (trend changes) in utilization post-intervention compared with the pre-intervention trend. Our findings remained robust on carrying out sensitivity analysis with the oral anti-diabetics market as a control. Post-intervention, the average monthly difference between antimicrobials under Schedule H1 and the control group witnessed an immediate increase of 16.3% (P = 0.10) followed by a sustained reduction of 0.5% (P = 0.13) compared with the pre-intervention scenario. Conclusions Though the regulation had a positive impact in terms of reducing sales of antimicrobials notified under the regulation, optimizing the effectiveness of such stand-alone policies will be limited unless accompanied by a broader set of interventions.