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Bad bugs – Undervalued Drugs - Time to change the way we value antibiotics – new report here

There are many reasons why antimicrobial resistance has emerged as one of the major global health threats facing society today. We frequently hear about the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in our environment, in animals and in humans. Resistant bacteria are spreading rapidly throughout the world and few new antibiotics are available to treat them.

Why are there so few new antibiotics?

Over the past 30 years there has been an alarming decline in the rate of discovery of new antibiotics. The Pharmaceutical Industry, in general, has de-prioritised its investment in antibiotic research and development, because it is extremely scientifically challenging to develop new antibiotics and very costly. Scientific challenges may be overcome, but unless we take a different approach to the way in which antibiotics are assessed and valued, there is little to incentivise the development of much-needed, new antibiotic therapies.

The issue is not just about finance. It is about Health Technology Assessment, Regulatory and Clinical aspects too. Change is needed and a multi-disciplinary approach is essential.

Working in collaboration with the Office of Health Economics (OHE), The Academy of Infection Management (AIM), brought together leading experts from HTA bodies, payer organisations, industry and regulatory bodies, with economists and clinical experts across Europe to discuss the valuation of antibiotics.

The meeting, which took place in London in February 2017, was the first of its kind to take a 360◦ multi-disciplinary perspective on the issues.

The output from that meeting is a briefing document which discusses additional elements of value of particular relevance to the HTA of antibiotics. It also summarises many of the insights gained from the meeting as to how we may advance this topic further in the future.

A copy of the briefing may be found here