While most retailers see a marked drop in walk-in trade during the height of the rainy season, there is one notable exception. The country's 12,000 pharmacies do brisk business in providing symptom-management cocktails for coughs, colds, stomach upsets and other real or imagined ailments, most of which would probably have cleared up by themselves given a little time.
Although these seasonal disorders have helped boost the value of retail drug sales to over 200 billion baht a year, there is another cost that must be taken into consideration.
The indiscriminate use of antibiotics in these "quick fix" symptom-management packages to treat what are usually respiratory viral infections is getting out of control. As they are anti-bacterial, they have no effect on viruses. Resistance develops and antibiotics no longer work when really needed.
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