Longitude Prize Director: Redefine the market makers to transform broken antibiotic and diagnostic market

20 Aug 2020

LONDON – Thursday, 20 August 2020: “Continuing to focus exclusively on high-income countries as the solution to create a credible market for new antibiotics means we’re missing a wider opportunity to create a robust market for both new antibiotics and innovative diagnostics, enabling us to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as the global public health crisis it is,” Daniel Berman, Head of Global Health at Nesta Challenges, will say at next week’s AMR Conference 2020. As director of the Longitude Prize, a £10m fund to incentivise a point–of–care AMR diagnostic test, Berman will make the case for a dramatic rethink of the roles and responsibilities of MedTech companies and multinational generic makers, calling for a mechanism to pool “pharmerging” market* demand — in countries like India, Brazil, Thailand and Indonesia — where the use of pharmaceuticals is growing rapidly, and so too is drug-resistance. Berman will advocate that self-paying middle-income countries and low-income countries (supported by donor-subsidies) consolidate demand for new antibiotics and related AMR diagnostics. Such a hybrid model could reduce the risk to manufacturers through multi-year subscription contracts, while established public health stewardship processes would ensure rational access to new products. This would also support best practice around short- and long-term provision of new antibiotics; relying on test results rather than symptoms alone. As with medicines for AIDS and Hepatitis C, Medicines Patent Pool style licenses could be negotiated with multinational generic makers. Commenting ahead of the event, Berman said: “Without a new innovative pooling mechanism, new products in the pipeline will not reach those that need them most. It will also be impossible to respect stewardship principles — only using new antibiotics when there is no older drug that would be effective. The COVID-19 response has created space for new approaches to be taken to solve old problems. Now is the time to try something different to fix the broken market limiting a global response to the AMR crisis.” Berman will be speaking at the following sessions during the AMR Conference:

  • Tuesday, 25 August, 16:30–17:45 CEST AMR pull incentives | Will COVID-19 speed up or slow down implementation?
  • Tuesday, 25 August, 17:45–18:45 CEST Diagnostics | Novel solutions to solve the reimbursement challenge 
  • Tuesday, 25 August, 19:00–20:00 CEST Expert Campus | Diagnostics in clinical trial settings (Sponsored and moderated by the Longitude Prize)

Notes: *Pharmerging markets are known for historically less well-resourced health systems and often use oral and older medicines to a greater extent. A 2019 study shows that ‘Pharmerging’ markets are expected to lead healthcare growth. For interviews and further comment on this proposal, or any of the session topics, contact:  Kasia Murphy, PR Consultant, Seven Consultancy: kasia@seven-consultancy.com Andrew McKay, PR Manager, Seven Consultancy: andrew@seven-consultancy.com