Commenting on Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement that he is to launch a review, led by the economist Jim O’Neill, to identify why the international market has failed to bring forward new medicines, Professor Hilary Thomas, partner at KPMG, said:
“Increasing resistance to antibiotics is not a new problem. However, so far little has been done to combat the issue as the truth is that there is a lack of incentive for the pharma industry to do so. Fundamentally, the current funding mechanisms do not work, as the sales do not justify the level of investment required.
“While there are some great examples of companies in the UK such as Redx Pharma who are conducting innovative research in this area, we need more collaboration if we are to confront this problem head on. Hopefully this morning’s announcement by the Prime Minister signals a commitment from the government to help industry and our academic partners come together to share the risk on some of the investment required.”
Gerald Dunstan, head of strategy for KPMG’s healthcare and life sciences practice, added: "The commercial model for antibiotics is extremely challenging. These are drugs taken for short periods of time, not chronically, so their market size and related returns are therefore smaller. This needs addressing. We also need stronger clinical protocols to manage the use of current and future products, and to prevent inappropriate usage or we will never get on top or ahead of this problem.”
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This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.