The UK Bioindustry Association (BIA) has responded to the government’s most recent review on antimicrobial resistance with its own suggestions for how to encourage new antibiotics.

A paper published by the BIA argues that the best economic model for securing new antibiotics would involve a continuous supply of specialised antibiotics coupled to rapid diagnostics to help decide where they will be most effective. It says that this should also be supported by a free market remuneration model.

The paper says that such a strategy, combined with incentives and reasonable pricing for combination therapies, would encourage countries to move away from one-size-fits-all treatments that cause resistance to “spread like wild fire”. It would hopefully then lead to a more diverse and informed approach where protection from resistance is controlled locally.

“Jim O’Neill’s review on AMR is right to point out that the emergence and spread of bacteria resistant to antibiotics is now recognised as a major threat to medicine,” says Steve Bates, CEO of the BIA. “We welcome the review’s analysis that there needs to be a boost to the development of new antibiotic drugs. But we want to ensure that any new economic model is based on an informed stewardship not restrictive stewardship approach.”

The review proposes the development of a global organisation which has the authority and resources to commit lump sum payments to successful antibiotic drug developers and calls for a $2 billion to help fund this. The hope would be to de-link profitability from sales and encourage blue-sky research.

“The economic model developed to incentivise AMR research must underpin the best approach to tackling resistance in the long term,” Bates adds. “We welcome the fact that the review team remain committed to further dialogue and will ensure member expertise is made available to them.”