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NHS to try out new subscription style payment model to pay for antibiotics

Published on 09/07/19 at 04:05pm

The NHS has said it will test the world’s first subscription style payment model to pay for antibiotics.

Britain’s National Health Service is set to try out a new subscription style payment model through which it will pay for pharmaceutical companies medicines based on the usefulness of their drugs to the NHS.

It is hoped that the new payment model will incentivise research and development, as drugmakers will be compensated based on the usefulness of their drugs rather than on the quantities of the drugs they sell.

Currently, the NHS buys antibiotics from pharmaceutical companies and pays for the amount that they use. However the current he model is failing to face up to the challenge of AMR, as the NHS sets out to reduce the amount of antibiotics they use.

This means low returns on investment and thus less money and incentive to invest in the research needed to bring new antibiotics to the market.

However it is hoped that the new payment model will provide greater incentive for companies to develop new antibiotics and bring them to the NHS. The new model will be evaluated and the findings will be shared with other countries around the world.   

Health Minister Nicola Blackwood commented: “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.

“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.”

“Today we are sending a strong signal to the rest of the world that there are workable models to stimulate investment in these vital medicines and that together we can tackle AMR.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock added: “Our 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.”

Louis Goss

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