Alzheimer’s Society takes drugs storm to High Court

    Campaigners have submitted evidence to the High Court challenging a decision to restrict access to dementia drugs on the NHS ahead of a judicial review.

    The Alzheimer’s Society has accused the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) of underestimating the costs and overlooking the benefits to carers of the drugs.

    The healthcare advisory body ruled that three drugs, Aricept, Exelon and Reminyl, should no longer be available for people with mild or severe dementia.

    The charity is also claiming that Nice “ignored the way the decision would grossly discriminate against people of different cultural and educational backgrounds”.

    Neil Hunt, the society’s chief executive, said: “The evidence we are presenting highlights serious flaws in the process Nice has used. The decision is a blow for millions of people already devastated by Alzheimer’s disease.”

    Nice chief executive Andrew Dillon said: “The reality is that, for Alzheimer’s disease, drugs are only part of the care that needs to be offered. Non-drug interventions have an important part to play and the evidence indicates that drugs are simply not effective for some patients.”

    A court date has yet to be set.

    Last month, the High Court agreed to hear a judicial review of the Nice’s decision after an application was made by pharmaceutical companies Eisai and Pfizer.

    It will be the first judicial review of Nice.

    Related article
    Elderly People

    Further information
    The Alzheimer’s Society
    National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice)

    Contact the author
     Maria Ahmed


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