Incentives design and innovation in antibiotic research
Applications are invited for a PhD studentship funded by the Centre for Health Policy, commencing October 2015 for the project:
Incentives design and innovation in antibiotic research The project will be based in the Department of Surgery & Cancer and the Centre for Health Policy within the Institute of Global Health Innovation (St Mary’s Campus).
The Project: Since the discovery of penicillin, infectious microbial organisms have found mechanisms to gain resistance to the existing arsenal of antibiotic drugs. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a huge and potentially devastating challenge facing health systems, care providers and the general population. It is estimated that AMR is directly responsible for 23,000 deaths annually in the US and more than 25,000 in the EU. The economic cost of bacterial resistance is estimated as 20-35 billion dollars annually in the US alone. The lack of novel antibiotics to tackle AMR is concerning and currently the development pipeline is very limited, especially for lethal multidrug resistant Gramnegative bacteria. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets are characterised by high risk and, in particular, antibiotic markets are considered higher risk and relatively unprofitable. As such, innovative solutions are needed to stimulate innovation and foster research and development (R&D) in this space.
Market failures can be attributed to both inadequate public and private sector behaviours in recent years. More research is needed to determine what types of incentives are needed to drive antibiotic R&D and innovation. This project will use economic theory, pharmaceutical policy, and regulatory frameworks to generate novel insight on the impact of various incentives. Broadly, incentives can be categorised as either ‘push’ or ‘pull’ or ‘hybrid’. Push incentives reduce the cost of R&D (for example, grants and tax subsidies), whilst pull incentives reward successful drug development with added or guaranteed revenue (for example, monetary prizes and accelerated market approvals). Hybrid methods combine both push and pull approaches.
This project will take an empirical approach to determine the effectiveness of incentives at driving the development of novel, clinically and economically beneficial drugs using a mixed methodology.
For informal enquiries please contact Mr Alexander Carter [Email Address Removed]. For application, please send a full CV, stating your nationality, and the full contact details of two academic referees to [Email Address Removed]. We regret that due to the large volume of applications received, we are only able to notify those shortlisted for interview. The deadline for applications is 11th Sept 2015.
Studentship Details: The award is for 36 months (full time) and covers course fees at the Home/EU rates and a tax-free stipend of £21,000. Applicants must hold (or obtain by October 2015) a First Class or an Upper Second Class degree (or equivalent overseas qualification) in a social policy or economics-related discipline, and Imperial would normally expect successful applicants to hold or achieve a Master's degree in a related field.
Non-EU applicants, if successful, will be responsible for payment of fees at the overseas rate (currently £30,000 per annum). Funding for overseas fees is not provided.