You are here

Alzheimer's Society fights for improved access to medicines

27th March 2007

The Alzheimer's Society is to take the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to court for its decision to deny newly diagnosed Alzheimer's sufferers from access to effective medicines.

The drugs in question cost the NHS just £2.50 per day for each patient using the drugs, reports the Alzheimer's Society.

Diana Barnes, an Alzheimer's sufferer, told the charity: "It's good news that NICE will be challenged in the High Court.

"I have been on the drug treatments for five years and I know that these drugs work best in the early stages.

"It is vital that the Alzheimer's Society is able to represent my experiences and the experiences of people like me."

Neil Hunt, chief executive of the charity, said: "Today is an important step in our fight for the rights of people with Alzheimer's disease.

"Denying people in the early stages of this debilitating disease access to drug treatments is cruel and unethical."

In recognition of the crucial role the charity will play in the case, the judge has awarded the Alzheimer's Society a degree of cost protection if the case is to be unsuccessful.

This will be the first ever judicial review of NICE, whose remit is currently being considered in light of increasing challenges to its decisions.