Users lobby over Alzheimer’s drugs

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has been
bombarded by almost 8,000 objections to its call for the NHS to
stop prescribing four Alzheimer’s drugs on cost grounds.

The objections, which dwarf those who responded in favour, put
pressure on the institute to reverse its draft guidance.

An Alzheimer’s Society spokesperson said: “It shows the strength of
public feeling that drug treatments for Alzheimer’s which work
should be made available regardless of cost.”

The institute met to consider the proposal last week and will make
its final recommendation in July.

Its draft guidance on donepezil, galantamine, memantine and
rivastigmine has come under criticism from several bodies,
including the Department of Health which questioned whether Nice
had compared drug costs with those of non-drug treatments and if it
had considered the drugs’ value to patients.

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