UK Antimicrobial Strategy 2019-2024

Written by Charlotte Johnston on Friday 15th February 2019

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become an issue globally, inhibiting our ability to effectively treat a number of microbial infections. With an estimated 700,000 people globally estimated to die annually due to the effects AMR and no novel classes of antibiotics discovered since the 1980s, it is not surprising that measures are being put in place to tackle this problem at both a global and national level. Around 50% of drugs used today were discovered during the golden age of antibiotic discovery, 1950-1960, with commonly used drugs such as penicillin and streptomycin discovered over 80 years ago and 70 years ago respectively.

The newly published governmental five year AMR strategy builds on prior work achieved through the five year AMR strategy from 2013-2018. The latest article describes their new action plan, ultimately developed in order to accomplish the 20 year vision for AMR which aims to see the following:

  1. The number of healthcare associated gram negative bloodstream infections halved
  2. By 2023, specific drug-resistant infections decreased by 10%
  3. By 2024, use of antimicrobial products in human decreased by 15 
  4. The use of antibiotics in animals from which we derive food products decreased by 25% between 2016-202
  5. By 2024, the ability to report on the percentage of prescriptions derived through the result of a diagnostic test or decision report tool

The strategy has outlined that it aims to support the global AMR movement within the UK through facilitating the development of novel diagnostics, therapies and vaccines, aiming to create a full R&D pipeline for these products.

Following the release of the five year AMR strategy on the 24th January, OPEN VIE (formerly pH Associates, Harvey Walsh and Open Access Consulting) have been considering the positive impact that this governmental plan may have on our pharmaceutical clients and also on ourselves as a consultancy.

What does this mean for our clients?

The production of novel therapeutics as well as diagnostic tools is currently heavily incentivised by the government along with initiatives to improve wider understanding around AMR:

  • £50 million UK Global AMR Innovation Fund (GAMRIF) – supporting initiatives such as the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator, the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP)

Governmental incentives in this area are enabling pharmaceutical companies to explore areas they previously had not considered, and give the opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry to lead the way in changing the antimicrobial market.

There is also an opportunity here for pharmaceutical companies to be innovative through the design, development and implementation of novel diagnostic tools in the antimicrobial space. This five year AMR strategy intends to make these diagnostic tools more easily accessible to clinicians and their patients through access schemes funded by the government.

What does this mean for us as a consultancy and how can we support our clients?

The government has placed a strong emphasis on enhancing existing datasets to improve the understanding of resistance and therefore inform future therapies and diagnostics. This provides an opportunity for OPEN VIE to support our clients through exploring these existing datasets:

  •  The real world evidence group within OPEN VIE has extensive experience in utilising existing data through performing retrospective chart reviews of medical records and analysing these findings

  •  The health informatics group within OPEN VIE, Harvey Walsh, is the only consultancy in the UK to hold ten years’ worth of HES data, a database that can be manipulated to explore the healthcare resource burden and impact of patients that AMR has in the UK, among other parameters

Within the real world evidence group, OPEN VIE has nineteen publications focussing on infectious disease and a further two publications in development focussing on resistant bacterial infections and their burden upon healthcare resource use. Please find a selection of our published work below:

Impact of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection: Hospitalisation and patient quality of life
Read the full publication

The burden of healthcare resource utilisation in patients with complicated acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI) where first line beta-lactam antibiotics were unsuitable
Read the full publication

Economic evaluation of treatment for MRSA complicated skin and soft tissue infections in Glasgow hospitals.
Read the full publication

A variety of methodologies have been implemented in these studies including local service evaluations, retrospective chart reviews and prospective research studies.


OPEN VIE Value, Informatics & Evidence (formerly pH Associates, Harvey Walsh & OPEN Access Consulting) a specialist market access, real world evidence and patient-centred outcomes consultancy which works with you to understand, demonstrate and communicate value to drive change.

Get in touch

Why not explore how we may be able to help you with your real world evidence needs in the antimicrobial area? For more information on how we could provide for you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Sam Oliver (Joint Managing Director) at