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Alzheimer's drug case to be taken to Court of Appeal

Alzheimer's drug case to be taken to Court of Appeal
6th December 2007

The fight to get early-stage Alzheimer's sufferers access to new drugs on the NHS is being taken to the Court of Appeal.

Pharmaceutical companies Eisai and Pfizer claim that treating people in the early stages of Alzheimer's could stall the effects of the disease.

Earlier this year the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's (Nice) decision to restrict access of three acetyl cholinesterase inhibitors was upheld by a High Court Judge.

It claimed that the drug was not cost effective in relation to the positive effects it offered.

Eisai and Pfizer's appeal has the backing of the Alzheimer's Society.

The organisation will appeal the decision by challenging the process Nice used to determine the cost effectiveness of the drug.

A spokesperson for the Alzheimer's Society told the BBC: "We are pleased to hear the appeal against the Nice judicial review verdict has been given the go ahead.

"While the Alzheimer's Society is not pursuing its legal arguments further in court, we support any challenge that could mean people with Alzheimer's get fairer access to the only drug treatment for the disease."

According to the Alzheimer's Society around 417,000 people in the UK suffer from Alzheimer's disease.

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