Alzheimer’s Society gains judicial review of Nice drug treatment ruling

A controversial ruling denying people newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease access to effective drug treatment on the NHS is to be challenged in the High Court.

The Alzheimer’s Society said today that the High Court had agreed to a judicial review of the ruling made by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

It will be the first ever judicial review of the healthcare advisory body, which last year ruled that all drug treatments for Alxheimer’s disease should not be prescribed on the NHS because of cost. Nice changed its position to allow limited access to treatment following widespread opposition.

Neil Hunt, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said he hoped the judicial review would show Nice’s ruling to be “fundamentally flawed.”

A date for the judicial review hearing has not been set.

The news came as campaigners in Scotland called for more government funding to tackle a “growing epidemic” of dementia including making dementia drug treatments available on the NHS.

Charity Alzheimer Scotland urged the Scottish Parliament to pledge an additional £15m for services including early diagnosis and support for Scotland’s 58,000 people with the condition.

As part of a manifesto launched today for this year’s elections, the charity said it wanted ring-fenced funding for free personal care.

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