Anorak News | The £2.50 Alzheimer’s Work, But You Can’t Have Them

The £2.50 Alzheimer’s Work, But You Can’t Have Them

by | 26th, June 2007

THE Government’s health watchdog, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), was condemned by the High Court for depriving 100,000 Alzeimer’s sufferers a £2.50-a-day drug.

The decision by Nice to block the drug was branded “abhorrent and disgusting” by one of the judges after a case was brought by drug company Eisai and backed by the Alzheimer’s Society. If the case is successful, it could trigger a whole torrent of legal actions from patients who have been refused the treatment.

Nice had originally decided that the drug was apparently too expensive, at £2.50 a day, when weighed up against the benefits to patients with mild Alzheimer’s.

During the hearing, Alzeimer’s sufferer, Keith Turner, who had been prescribed the drug Aricept, one of the three acetyl cholinesterase inhibitors shunned by Nice, said: “Life was slipping away so fast. But that has all now changed because of this drug.”

David Pannick QC, representing Eisai, opines: “The inevitable consequence of removing funding for those with mild AD – and the evidence shows that is about 96,000 people in this country – is that the opportunity is lost for delaying the onward march of this appalling disease and maintaining a relatively good way of life for a patient as long as possible.”

The hearing is set to last for four days.

Posted: 26th, June 2007 | In: Money Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink