Pharmacies running without licenses have even become the primary source of outpatient care due to their accessibility, shorter wait times, and lack of consultation fees, especially in Africa, despite their suspicious pharmaceutical quality (Ayukekbong et al., 2017).
For instance, a Cameroonian study sought out to find the quality of antimalarial medications received from illegitimate sources. Out of the two hundred eighty-four samples that were collected from one hundred thirty-two vendors, seventy four percent of Quinine, thirty eight percent of Chloroquine, and twelve percent of Antifolates were comprised of no active ingredient, the wrong ingredients, and/or unknown ingredients (Ayukekbong et al., 2017). These findings further indicate that the scale to which antibiotic resistance has become a global health crisis is because of poor regulation of antibiotics. Due to overpopulation, and in some places neglect, select bacteria have been able to become resistant to major antibiotic treatments that are the only known way to cure specific infectious diseases. Black-market pharmacies have also provided a perfect breeding ground for resistant bacteria to thrive in the population. Because of the extensive effort that it will take for these secondary problems to be solved, resistance will likely continue to spread unless widespread international steps are taken.
Even though bacteria naturally become resistant to antibiotics as a part of evolution, poor distribution as well as grave misuse of antibiotics is hastening the process. Although new antibiotics are being developed by scientists and researchers, none of them are expected to be able to combat the most dangerous resistant bacteria. As a solution to halt the consequences of this crisis, The CDC suggests that health care providers ensure the correct diagnostic tests are ordered for patients and that they optimize stewardship programs – programs that decrease unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions and extend antibiotics’ effectiveness in order to ideally treat patients with infections (CDC, 2018). However, clarification will be needed to identify how exactly those tests should be used in the prescribing process, and the doctors themselves are responsible for prescribing correctly, not the stewardship’s staff. Thus, the solution to this crisis lies in the hands of clinicians in order to prevent humanity from going back to a time when millions of common treatments and procedures, now taken for granted, become life threatening.