Industry Responds to New Payment System for Antibiotics in UK

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Industry has responded positively to the United Kingdom government’s new pharmaceutical payment system to incentivize development of new drugs to tackle AMR.

Industry has responded positively to the United Kingdom government’s announcement of a new pharmaceutical payment system that will incentivize pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The UK’s government announced the new payment system in a July 9, 2019 news release, in which it was revealed that the new trial, to be led by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) along with the National Health Service (NHS) England and NHS Improvement, will test out a ‘subscription-style’ payment model. The model will see pharma companies paid upfront for access to drugs based on how useful they are considered by the NHS.

Matt Hancock, the UK’s health and social care secretary, said in the news release, “[UK’s] NHS is in a unique position to take a global lead in testing new payment models. We will take the lead but this is a global problem and we cannot succeed alone.”

“Having a full pipeline of antimicrobials is critical in our efforts to address AMR, but currently not enough pharmaceutical companies are investing in the development of new drugs,” added Nicola Blackwood, UK health minister. “This project is an important step but it will only address global market failure if other countries do the same, which is why we want to involve as many countries as we can and share our learning from this work.”


“Increased resistance to antibiotics is one of the greatest threats to global health we face. Today’s 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,” said Sheuli Porkess, executive director of research, Medical and Innovation at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) in response to the government’s announcement. “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.”

ABPI reported it will await further details on how the pilot program will work in practice.

Sources: Gov.ukABPI