Monday, 25 June 2007

NICE Tell Alzheimer's patients to forget it.

Alzheimer's Society
Can you think of any medical complaint (that can seriously reduce the quality of life for you and your family) that you would expect a doctor to tell you to come back only when it gets worse? That's what thousands of people suffering from Alzheimer's are being told. NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence), the government's health watchdog say the drugs available are not cost effective in the early stages of the disease.

Andrew Dillon, chief executive of NICE, said: "The reality is that, for Alzheimer's disease, drugs are only part of the care that needs to be offered. Non-drug interventions have an important part to play and the evidence indicates that drugs are simply not effective for some patients." I say what a load of rubbish. You would expect your doctor to give you every form of treatment available to treat your condition. The fact that the drugs are not effective for some patients should not preclude their use for those that can benefit, cost effectiveness should not be a qualifying factor. The drugs cost about £2.50 a day, which is peanuts when you work out how much you pay into the national health service throughout your working life.

The Alzheimer's Society, with support from drug firms Easai and Pfizer are to challenge the decision in the High Court. Neil Hunt, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society, said: "People with Alzheimer's disease and their carers have fought long and hard for their day in court. These treatments have benefited so many families already - where is the justice in NICE's decision to snatch them away? We have to fight NICE's fatally flawed process, which has failed to recognise the benefits these treatments have for carers."

Anyone that has had a loved one suffer from this disease will know what a cruel affliction it is. Let's hope that the Alzheimer's Society's legal challenge is successful.

There is an E-Petition asking the Prime Minister not to deny people in the early and late stages of Alzheimer’s disease access to drug treatments.

Please click HERE to visit the Alzheimer's Society.

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