Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an urgent global challenge. It causes around 700,000 deaths each year globally. That is predicted to rise to 10 million by 2050 if no action is taken.
The UK Government is committed to a 5 year action plan. This reflects the World Health Organization’s priorities for tackling AMR, and the United Nations framework for action.
The scale of the AMR threat is widely acknowledged. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for ongoing planning for infectious diseases.
Why we need a change in approach
We're heading towards a world where antimicrobials no longer work. The drugs we already have are often used inappropriately. There have been few new antimicrobials discovered since the 1980s.
Investing in new antimicrobials is commercially unattractive. Research and development costs are high. Restrictions put in place to reduce resistance mean it is difficult for companies to see a return on their investment.
What we're doing
We are working with NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) to test a new health technology evaluation process and a new payment model. This project will look at 2 antimicrobial products. This will mean the payments made to companies are based on the value to the NHS and not linked to the volumes sold.
The project will test the new model while ensuring access to the antimicrobials.
NHSE&I completed a procurement exercise to select the 2 antimicrobials for evaluation:
- An existing antimicrobial, ceftazidime with avibactam (manufactured by Pfizer).
- An antimicrobial that is new to the market, cefiderocol (manufactured by Shionogi).
The antimicrobials evaluation committee has been convened to consider the evidence and make a judgement on the value of the drugs to the NHS. This will inform commercial discussions between the drug manufacturers and NHSE&I.
Product selection documents
If you have more questions you can email the project team.