A General Public Study on Preferences and Welfare Impacts of Antimicrobial Resistance in the United Kingdom

Maria Veronica Dorgali, Alberto Longo, Caroline Vass, Gemma Shields, Roger Harrison, Scarpa Scarpa, Marco Boeri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Antibiotics have led to considerable increases in life expectancy. However, over time, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has accelerated and is now a significant global public health concern. Understanding societal preferences for the use of antibiotics as well as eliciting the willingness to pay (WTP) for future research is crucial.
Objective: To investigate preferences for different strategies to optimize antibiotic use and to understand WTP for future research in AMR and antimicrobial drug development.
Methods: A discrete-choice experiment (DCE) was administered to a sample of the United Kingdom general population. Respondents were asked to make nine choices, each offering three options—two hypothetical “doctor and antibiotics” and one “no doctor – no antibiotics”—defined by five attributes: treatment, days needed to recover, risk of bacterial infection that needs antibiotics, risk of common side effects, and risk of AMR by 2050. Data were analyzed using random parameters logit models. A double bounded contingent valuation was also included in the survey to explore WTP for policies to contain AMR.
Results: Among the 2,579 respondents who completed the survey, 1,151 always selected “no doctor– no antibiotic” and 57 never varied their choices; therefore, 1,371 responses were used in the analysis. Risk of AMR by 2050 was the most important and the “treatment” was the least important attribute, although this was sensitive to a higher risk of bacterial infection. The aggregate annual WTP for containing AMR was approximately £8.35 billion (~£5-£10 billion).
Conclusions: The AMR risk is relevant and important to the general public. The high WTP suggests that large investments in policies or interventions to combat AMR are justified.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Aug 2021


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