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Alzheimer's Disease

Nice ruling overturned for Alzheimers drug

11 years ago

1456  0
Posted on May 01, 2008, 8 p.m. By Jeanelle Topping

Access to drug treatments for early stage Alzheimers sufferers came a step closer this week as a controversial ruling was overturned.

Access to drug treatments for early stage Alzheimers sufferers came a step closer this week as a controversial ruling was overturned.

The Court of Appeal has judged the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) to have failed to act with transparency when it decided to refuse NHS use of Aricept and other products for early stage disease.

The drugs were limited by a 2006 ruling to use for patients with more advanced "moderate" Alzheimer's symptoms only.

Nice's principal aversion to the drugs was their price, with the body ruling them to fall short on cost effectiveness when used at an early stage of the disease, despite the cost being only £2.50.

Coming under criticism for its cost efficiency analysis, Nice refused access to its cost calculation model to Aricept manufacturer Eisai, prompting concerns over transparency.

Nick Burgin, managing director of Eisai, which brought the case with Pfizer, said: "We hope this action will ultimately restore access for patients at the mild stages of Alzheimer's disease."

Nice has justified its failure to grant access to costing systems on the grounds that companies gaining access to the model would be able to manipulate their products to gain authorisation, while maximising profits. ADNFCR-1506-ID-18578978-ADNFCR

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