New drugs to fight the superbug will be made available to hundreds of patients across Britain as part of a deal that is hoped to “save lives and deal blows” to the global fight against drug resistance .
About 1,700 patients a year will be given a new “superbug killer” on the NHS to treat infections that have become resistant to traditional antibiotics.
The NHS signed an agreement with pharmaceutical companies to encourage the development of new drugs.
Around 65,000 people a year develop drug-resistant infections known as superbugs, which equates to 178 people a day, according to data from Public Health England.
Experts have previously warned about how new drugs to treat infections could be developed – raising concerns that even routine activities could turn deadly if the current class of drugs no longer works. fruit.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says drug resistance is “one of the top 10 public health threats facing humanity”.
The deal will see the NHS pay up to £10m a year for up to 10 years.
The first drugs to be released were called cefiderocol and ceftazidime-avibactam, made by Shionogi and Pfizer.
‘Bringing hope to thousands of patients’
Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of NHS England, said the deal “provides a template” for other countries and “gives new hope to thousands of patients previously left with no treatment options”. “.
She added: “The bug-killing drugs on the NHS will save lives and deal a major blow to the global fight against resistance.
“Until now, innovation in antibiotics has been limited, but this pioneering NHS registry program aims to turn the tide by working with pharmaceutical companies to ensure that we have these great fighting drugs are available and ready to be made available to the patients who need them most.”
Without a continuous supply of effective drugs, the WHO said, “the success of modern medicine in the treatment of infections, including in major surgery and cancer chemotherapy, is at risk.” increase”.
Antibiotics include antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and antiparasitics.
The WHO says drug resistance occurs when “bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change” and then fail to respond to drugs, making infections “more difficult to treat and increasing the risk”. spread of disease, serious illness and death”.