NHS announces further details of subscription style payment for antibiotics
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UK: NHS England announces further details of subscription-style payment model for antibiotics 


The subscription-style payment model for antibiotics announced by NICE in April 2022 (link to article here) will be capped at a maximum of £10 million per drug per year for up to 10 years, NHS England has announced. This novel approach to incentivising innovation in antibiotics to tackle antimicrobial resistance overcomes the issue of paying pharmaceutical companies based on the number of drugs bought or prescribed given that they will be subject to strict rules on who can receive them in order to ensure they continue to work effectively. It is the first time any health system in the world has assessed the value of an antimicrobial in this way.  

The first two drugs to be included in the scheme are Pfizer’s Zavicefta (ceftazidime/avibactam) and Shionogi’s Fetcroja (cefiderocol). It is thought that around 1,700 patients per year with severe bacterial infections will be eligible for treatment with the drugs in instances where other current treatments are no longer effective.  

NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard commented, “Until now, innovation in antibiotics has been limited, but this pioneering NHS subscription scheme aims to turn the tide by working with pharmaceutical firms to make sure we have these superbug-battling drugs ready and available to those patients who need them most.  

“This world-leading agreement not only provides a template for other countries to follow, incentivising antimicrobial drug innovation globally, as we collectively deal with this threat to modern medicine and public health, but also gives new hope to thousands of patients who previously had no treatment options left”. 

According to Mark Hill, SVP, Global Head of Market Access at Shionogi, the company “supports the UK’s leadership position with the introduction of the world’s first subscription reimbursement model for antimicrobials. It is hoped that this model will encourage investment in this critical area and promote good stewardship to limit the potential development of antimicrobial resistance”.  

Source:, “NHS lands breakthrough in global battle against superbugs”, 15th June 2022 

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