Patients with Alzheimer's disease are set to benefit from a reduction in the cost of one of the most prescribed treatments. Donepezil had previously only being available under the brand Aricept, but a generic version has now being launched in the UK after its patent expired. The drug is used to slow the symptoms of Alzheimer's in its early to moderate stages and its affordability is vital for its widespread distribution. A spokesperson for the Alzheimer's Society called the release of the generic drug "fantastic news" for both patients and for the NHS. The treatment can "help people remember the names of their grandchildren, how to make a cup of tea, or the address of the house they have lived in for the past 30 years". However, the Alzheimer's Society warns that only ten per cent of patients are currently being prescribed the right treatment, and the widespread availability of the drug must be used to ensure that people get the right medication. The announcement coincides with the discovery that patients given chemical cosh drugs to treat psychotic behaviour associated with dementia are at an increased risk of mortality. Find out more about Alzheimer's disease care at Barchester homes.