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ABPI welcomes NICE’s guidance on value of new antibiotics

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The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has welcomed the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s leadership in introducing a new approach to the evaluation of antibiotics.

On Tuesday (12 April), NICE published a draft guidance to tackle antimicrobial resistance under which two new antimicrobial drugs – cefiderocol and ceftazidime–avibactam – became the first to be made available as part of the UK’s innovative subscription-style payment model.

Commenting on the announcement of the new draft guidance, Richard Torbett, chief executive of the ABPI, said: “This is an important milestone in the UK’s global leadership on AMR. Antibiotics underpin modern medicine, but the increasing threat of antibiotic resistance remains one of the biggest global health challenges we face.

“To tackle this, it is critical that the appropriate frameworks are in place for companies to invest the billions of pounds required to discover the new antibiotics needed for patients.

“We acknowledge the difficulties of generating evidence on the broader public health benefits that antibiotics bring to patients, but it is essential these are fully captured in evaluation frameworks. Rapid progress is needed to establish a permanent evaluation and reimbursement approach and deliver the incentives needed to develop these important medicines.

“Only then will patients across the whole UK be confident that they can access effective antibiotics now and into the future.”

NICE said Cefiderocol and ceftazidime–avibactam will be the first antimicrobial drugs to be made available as part of a subscription-style payment model that incentivises research and development of antimicrobials by testing new approaches to evaluating and paying for them.

As part of part of a project with the NHS and the Department of Health and Social Care, the new payment model is designed to address the growing threat posed by antimicrobial resistance — a serious global problem — which develops when the pathogens that cause infection evolve to make antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs less effective or stop them from working altogether.

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