Angry reaction to drug withdrawal

Community care minister Stephen Ladyman will ask the National
Institute for Clinical Excellence whether it has considered the
wider social implications of the proposed withdrawal of four
Alzheimer’s drugs, the Department of Health has confirmed.

His intervention, which will flag up the benefits and costs of the
drugs to carers as well as patients, comes as Nice revealed it had
received more than 1,000 letters opposing the proposed withdrawal
of Donepezil, Rivastigmine, Galantamine and Memantine since
publishing its preliminary recommendations on the drugs earlier
this month.

Head of Alzheimer Scotland Jim Jackson said the charity was urging
members to write to MSPs and NHS Quality Improvement Scotland on
what could be a “disastrous” decision for Scotland.

“We know these treatments are not perfect but they do help some
people with early- to moderate-stage Alzheimer’s disease,” Jackson

The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Old Age Psychiatry,
which has more than 1,800 members, has drawn up a resolution saying
that denying the drugs to people with Alzheimer’s would have a
detrimental affect on their health and life.

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