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Two new medications to fight superbugs could soon be available for NHS patients in England

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Two new medications which fight drug-resistant superbugs could soon become available to NHS patients in England after the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said they offered value for money.

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.

The two new medications, approved in draft guidelines from NICE published today (April 12), will help patients with urinary tract infections, pneumonia and sepsis.

NHS commercial medicines director Blake Dark said: “This is an important step in our world-leading approach to incentivise innovation in antimicrobial drugs and the battle against drug-resistant infections.

“The NHS will now use its commercial power to secure deals that will enable NHS patients to benefit from these treatments, delivering on its Long Term Plan commitment and paving the way for a pipeline of future treatment options.”

NICE will issue final guidance once discussions between the NHS and the drug manufacturers have concluded.

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