The Government has announced further details for how they plan to support pharmaceutical companies’ investments in the development of drugs to treat antibiotic resistant infections.
The NHS plans to test a first-of-its-kind ‘subscription-style’ payment model that will help incentivise companies to develop new drugs needed to tackle resistant infections.
The plan follows the launch of the Government’s National Action Plan in January, which stated that companies have agreed to work with governments to make sure that antibiotics are only used by people who really need them, and that they work to reduce the negative impact making antibiotics have on the environment.
It also states that companies must make the most of data about how antibiotics work for future science R&D and investigate how we can prevent infections in the first place, e.g. with vaccines.
Payment-wise, companies are set to be paid based on the value the medicine brings to the NHS, for example whether it targets a high-priority infection, rather than for the sheer number they sell, making the UK the first country in the world to trial a new way of paying for antibiotics.
Dr Sheuli Porkess, executive director of research, medical and innovation at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) said that increased resistance to drugs is “one of the greatest threats to global health we face.”
She went on to explain that the announcement is an “Example of how the UK can lead the world in this fight and hopefully brings us closer to fixing the problems that have hampered investment in antibiotics research for so long.
“Patients can’t afford to wait. Our members are ready to get started, and the sooner we get this pilot up and running, the sooner we can apply what we find to other antimicrobials in development.”
The plan is the most comprehensive one in the world currently, placing the UK at the forefront of the AMR fight. Resistant bacteria already causes more than 700,000 deaths globally every year.