Britain’s health secretary Matt Hancock has unveiled the country’s next five-year plan in controlling the ever-increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) which already contributes to at least 700,000 deaths a year across the globe.
One of the core elements of the 2019-2024 plan is incentivising pharmaceutical companies to develop new and more robust antibiotics. Additionally the government aims to control the threat of infection especially in hospital-associated situations.
As it stands, there has not been a new antibiotic since the 1980s. However with the use of the Global AMR Innovation Fund’s (GAMRIF) £50m investment the government will be able to incentivise pharma companies to develop antibiotics as well as contribute to the reduction of antibiotic misuse or about 15% of total use. All in all, once the plan takes effect it is estimated that around 15,000 infections will be prevented in hospital scenarios.
Hancock said that the new plan delves beyond NHS use but also extends to other industries stating: ““We are going to be doing this in humans and animals, through immunisation, better infection control, working with doctors, vets, farmers and patients, to prevent unnecessary prescription of antibiotics.”
Backing the new five-year plan is a completely new way of buying antibiotics which will underline the true value of antibiotic use in health care and wider society. Working with organisations such as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) the government will address the gaping market failure and over the next six months a new payment plan will be put into place.
Source: NHS five-year plan