Pharmaceutical industry leaders are calling for an alternative reimbursement model for antibiotics in the UK sooner rather than later in order to support effective stewardship and research and development in the short term.
The call, from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry's Antibiotic Network, comes after concerns were raised by MPs that an independent review of antibiotic resistance and the current status quo - announced by Prime Minister David Cameron last week - is expected to take a couple of years to complete.
A report by the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee into antimicrobial resistance has stressed that the review "should not delay work on any pricing alternatives that could be agreed with the pharmaceutical industry over a shorter timescale".
According to the Network, while the panel undertakes its review the UK "should take a leadership role to pilot an alternative reimbursement model for antibiotics", and it stressed it is "ready to engage on exploring a workable pilot".
In the long term, it says governments must work on an innovative incentive model to reward the development of new treatments, it said.
The current favourite from the industry's point of view seems to be an insurance-type model with local pricing. Such a model, based on an annual license fee, can provide investors with a more predictable positive ROI and remove the incentive to pursue volume maximisation to drive revenue.
This model would also provide healthcare providers with an on-going supply of new products and provide payers (at local and national level) with more predictable costs that would not be linked to the volume use, the Network argues, also noting that implementation nationally would reduce the financial impact at the local level due to local outbreaks.
Phico picks up TSB grant
Meanwhile, Phico Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing a novel platform technology for a new generation of antibiotics aimed at overcoming antibacterial resistance, has bagged a £1.6 million biomedical catalyst grant by the Technology Strategy Board to develop its SASPject technology against the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
The extra cash will enable the company to refine and scale up the manufacturing process and transfer to a contract manufacturing organisation, as well as conduct preclinical efficacy and safety studies in order to make the product ready for first in man studies, it said.