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NHS to test new payment model to drive antibiotic research

NHS England is to investigate radically changing the way that it pays drug companies for medicines, using value to the NHS instead of volume sold, in a bid to incentivise R&D into novel antibiotics.

The Department of Health and Social Care released its plans to confront the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance, including an increased focus on R&D, on 24 January.

As a part of its plans, the department announced that, within the next six months, NHS England would start testing a system for paying pharmaceutical companies that provide the NHS with antibiotics according to an assessment of the value of their medicines. The valuations will be carried out by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. This breaks with the current payment system, which is based on the volume of antibiotics sold.

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