CMS Administrator Seema Verma: “Volume-based incentives undervalue antibiotics”

Dear All,

In a marvelous series of tweets, Seema Verma (current Administrator of the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) today said the following (emphasis is mine):

  • Not-so-fun fact of the day: Most classes of antibiotics prescribed to #Medicare beneficiaries were discovered long ago- before they were even born. #FactFriday
  • #DYK Over time, pathogens have become resistant to our antibiotics. More than 2 million Americans develop a drug resistant infection annually. We need new #innovation to address antimicrobial resistance, or #AMR.
  • #Medicare beneficiaries need new antibiotics, but bureaucracy is blocking the science necessary to develop them. #Innovation hits a dead end with outdated payment frameworks.
  • Volume-based payments undervalue antibiotics which has led to a vanishing market for “last resort” drugs. #Innovation depends on aligning incentives!
  • #AMR is a public health crisis that requires both rigorous #stewardship AND removal of payment disincentives if we want to tackle this threat to #Medicare beneficiaries.

It’s very encouraging to see CMS (Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services) attend so closely to this problem. Decisions by CMS could really move the needle on much needed Pull incentives in the US (go here for more details, including the current state of the UK’s work delinking volume from reimbursement)! Fingers crossed!

All best wishes, –jr

John H. Rex, MD | Chief Medical Officer, F2G Ltd. | Expert-in-Residence, Wellcome Trust. Follow me on Twitter: @JohnRex_NewAbx. See past newsletters and subscribe for the future: http://amr.solutions/blog/

Upcoming meetings of interest to the AMR community:

  • 15-19 Jul 2019 (Dallas, TX): Small World Initiative Instructor Training Workshop — training for undergraduate professors and high school teachers in wet lab techniques, parallel curricula, pedagogical instruction to engage students in the hunt for new antibiotics in soil. Go here to register.
  • 18 Jul 2019 (webinar, 9:00-10:30 CEST): REVIVE webinar entitled “IEnabling academia to fill the discovery gap – Learnings from industry and funders.” Go here to register.
  • 31 Jul 2019 (Philadelphia, PA): Wistar Institute-sponsored “Symposium on Gram-Negative Bacteria Resistance – New Approaches in Pushing Back the Tide.” Go here for details.
  • 20 Aug 2019 (webinar, 17:00-18:30 CEST): REVIVE webinar entitled “Models for antimicrobial R&D: Computational modelling for population PK and PKPD.” Go here to register.
  • [Mark your calendar now!] 3-6 Sep 2019 (Boston). Annual ASM-ESCMID Conference on Antibiotic Development. The Bootcamp series will continue on 3 Sep with main meeting on 4-6 Sep. Mark your calendar now and check back here for details.
  • 6 Sep 2019 (Cambridge): CeBIL Annual Symposium 2019: Legal Innovation to Support the Development of Anti-Microbial Drugs. For more details and to register, go here.
  • 6-8 Sep 2019 (Bilbao, Spain): 5th ESCMID conference on Vaccines. Check back here for details.
  • 2-6 Oct 2019 (Washington, DC): IDSA’s annual IDWeek meeting.
  • 19-27 Oct 2019 (Annecy, France): International Course on Antibiotics and Resistance (ICARe) – A soup-to-nuts intensive residential training program on all things AMR, especially R&D for new antibiotics. See this link for details.
  • [NEW] 16-18 Dec 2019 (Bangkok, Thailand): 3rd International Symposium on Alternatives to Antibiotics in Animal Production. Go here for details: https://www.ars.usda.gov/alternativestoantibiotics/
  • 1-6 Mar 2020 (Il Ciocco, Tuscany, Italy): GRC on Antibacterial Discovery and Development: “Now is the time to re-boot antibiotic R&D before it’s too little, too late.” Go here for details.
  • 12-13 Mar 2020 (Berlin?): BEAM-, Novo REPAIR-, CARB-X-, DZIF-, ND4BB-, ENABLE-supported (among a long list!) Conference on Novel Antimicrobials and AMR Diagnostics. Final location is TBD, details will appear here, and you should mark your calendar now. 
  • 16-17 Mar 2020 (London): BSAC Spring Conference entitled: “Bridging the gap between science, policy and effective antimicrobial use.” Go here for details. 
  • 18-21 Apr 2020 (Paris): Annual ECCMID meeting (#30)
  • 25-30 May 2020 (Rotterdam), Annual ESPID meeting (European Society for Pediatric ID, #38)
  • 10-13 Apr 2021 (Vienna): Annual ECCMID meeting (#31)

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