NHS England to test Netflix-style subscriptions for antibiotics

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Colonies of MRSA bacteria on blood agar plate

Colonies of MRSA bacteria on blood agar plate

Rodolfo Parulan Jr/Getty Images

A Netflix-style scheme to fund new antibiotics through a subscription – through which the health service pays drug companies a set annual fee, regardless of how many doses are used – will start next year in England.

The approach tackles a key element of the antibiotic resistance crisis: that few new drugs are being developed, while existing ones are failing. The field is currently unprofitable for pharmaceutical firms because when new antibiotics reach the clinic, health services use them sparingly, to slow the spread of …

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