Skip directly to content

In the continued fight against AMR, Pfizer UK collaborates with NHS to trial a new ‘subscription-type’ model for antibiotics

Pfizer UK today welcomes the decision by NHS England and Improvement (NHSE&I), the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to include a Pfizer anti-infective in trialling an innovative new ‘subscription-type’ reimbursement model for antibiotics in the UK.


We are pleased to have been involved since the inception of this pioneering initiative and believe that, ultimately, it will encourage more investment in the discovery of antibiotics to help protect the nation and encourage good stewardship practices across the healthcare system.

To reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), it is important that antibiotics are prescribed only when necessary and new antibiotics are often kept in reserve for later use or used infrequently to help slow resistance. However, the current system is based on volume, where pharmaceutical companies are reimbursed by the number of antibiotics used, making it challenging for companies to recover high antibiotic development costs whilst the healthcare system maintains good stewardship practices.

As we head towards 2050 – the year when AMR is predicted to cause 10 million deaths per year1 – it is widely agreed that it is time to reconsider the current volume-based payment system. A trial of a ‘subscription-type’ model and the subsequent move to an innovative health technology evaluation process, to be undertaken by NICE, will drive investment and innovation in the space, and help to support effective antibiotic diversity and stewardship.

This is an exciting step forward and we are hopeful that a model which recognises the value anti-infectives bring to society will help encourage more investment and innovation in the field, with the aim of providing new antibiotics to help protect the nation. We are grateful to NICE, the NHS and UK Government for leading this change and demonstrating that we can work together to create a new market for antibiotics and ultimately combat antimicrobial resistance.”

Susan Rienow, Hospital Business Unit Lead, Pfizer UK

Pfizer UK is committed to combatting resistant infections and bringing breakthroughs that change patients’ lives. We hope the initiative will contribute to greater research and development – ultimately helping to bring essential new antibiotics to our NHS and patients.”

Seema Patel, Medical Director, Hospital Business Unit, Pfizer UK

Combatting the challenges of AMR requires a collaborative approach and Pfizer UK is extremely proud to be involved in this collaboration with the NHS. We are optimistic that this project could help to re-invigorate the anti-infectives research and development ecosystem in the UK and inspire change on a global scale.  


Related articles:


Antibiotics are medicines that work to treat or prevent bacterial infections, but many are losing their effectiveness due to antimicrobial resistance (AMR).


In November 2020, we launched a national campaign which aims to help us all feel empowered to change the course of antimicrobial resistance and create a new future for antibiotics.


Pfizer announced it has pledged US$100 million to the new Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Action Fund to help address the significant global public health need for new antibiotics.



  1. The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance. Chaired by Jim O’Neill. Last accessed December 2020.


PP-PFE-GBR-3315 / December 2020