NICE reaches important milestone in the UK’s efforts to tackle antimicrobial resistance.
Two new antimicrobial drugs - cefiderocol and ceftazidime–avibactam - are close to becoming the first to be made available as part of the UK’s innovative subscription-style payment model after NICE published draft guidance estimating their value to the NHS.
Cefiderocol is a cephalosporin antibiotic that is coupled to a siderophore that binds to iron and aids cell entry.
Ceftazidime–avibactam is a fixed-dose combination medication composed of ceftazidime, a cephalosporin antibiotic, and avibactam, a β-lactamase inhibitor. Bacterial resistance to cephalosporins is often due to bacterial production of β-lactamase enzymes that deactivate these antibiotics. Avibactam inhibits bacterial β-lactamases.
Investment in new antimicrobials, especially those that target multi-drug-resistant pathogens, is not commercially attractive because they are subject to strict controls to restrict their use to slow the development of resistance. This means sales could be low. The new payment method overcomes this by ensuring a fixed annual fee is paid to the company regardless of how many prescriptions are issued.