Dementia drug appeal rejected

An appeal by Alzheimer's disease groups to win greater access to drugs has been rejected by the NHS watchdog responsible for recommending drugs use.

The National institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) announced that the appeals lodged by stakeholders against draft guidance on the use of drugs to treat Alzheimer�s Disease have not been upheld.

NICE will recommend to the NHS in November that donepezil, galantamine and rivastigmine should only be considered as options in the treatment of people with moderate Alzheimer's disease. A fourth drug memantine is only recommended as part of clinical studies for people with moderately-severe to severe Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's drugs campaigners argued that the drugs should be made available to those with mild dementia, but NICE contend that the drugs do not make a sufficient difference.

The companies who manufacture the drugs are reported to be considering a judical review of the appeal recommendation from NICE.

The drugs had previously been recommended by NICE, but this decision was changed in 2005 due to cost considerations.

Help the Aged claim that around one in five people over 80 are affected by dementia.


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