Two new antimicrobial drugs set to launch in UK market

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Two new antimicrobial drugs set to launch in UK market

Two new antimicrobial drugs could soon become the first to launch in the UK as part of a new ‘subscription’ payment system designed to incentivise manufacturers.

NICE introduced draft guidance yesterday recommending cefiderocol and ceftazidime-avibactam as options for treating severe drug-resistant infections caused by gram-negative bacteria.

Its evaluation of these drugs is part of a joint initiative with NHS England & Improvement and the Department of Health and Social Care whereby manufacturers receive a fixed annual fee regardless of how many prescriptions are written.

Because there are strict controls on the use of new antimicrobials in order to slow the development of resistant pathogens, they are not typically “commercially attractive” to manufacturers, said NICE.

In its evaluation of the new drugs, it looked at the potential benefits of effective antimicrobials in ensuring chemotherapy and other medical interventions can proceed, and in widening the range of treatment options to prepare for exiting antimicrobials losing their efficacy due to resistance.

Nick Crabb, programme director in NICE’s Science, Evidence and Analytics Directorate, said: “This draft guidance represents an important milestone in the UK project. Its ultimate goal is to ensure the NHS has access to effective new antimicrobials to call on when needed and patients aren’t left without treatment options in the face of growing antimicrobial resistance.

“But we cannot address the global threat of antimicrobial resistance alone, since the UK represents only about 3% of the global market for antimicrobials. We are sharing our learning from this project with international stakeholders and encourage other countries to offer similar incentives in their own domestic markets, so that collectively we can achieve a meaningful incentive for global investment in antimicrobials.”

NICE 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.”

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