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New antibiotics: NHS will test “pay for usefulness” model to stimulate research

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l4610 (Published 09 July 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l4610
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. The BMJ

The NHS will pay drug companies up front for access to new drugs depending on their usefulness, in an effort to encourage them to invest the £1bn (€1.11bn; $1.25bn) or more needed to bring a new antibiotic to market.

This trial in incentivising companies to focus on developing drugs that may be held in reserve is a move away from the usual way the NHS pays for drugs, which is based on how much they are used.

The drug industry has been reluctant to invest in the research and clinical trials necessary to bring new antibiotics to market because of low returns. The “subscription-style” payment model is seen …

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