Friday, 10 August 2007

Alzheimer's Society Lose High Court Bid - For Now.

Alzheimer's SocietyBack in June I wrote this hopeful Post:

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."

Unfortunately the Alzheimer's Society and their fellow campaigners failed to win their High Court bid. They are now planning to appeal the decision. Gordon Lishman, director general of Age Concern, said: "The drugs can cost as little as £2.50 a day per person and could make day-to-day life far more manageable for thousands of people."

Anyone that has had a loved one suffer from this disease will know what a cruel affliction it is. Let's hope that this is not the end of Alzheimer's Society's legal challenge.

The E-Petition is still running: It asks 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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1 comment:

Kathy NC said...

My name is Kathy, and I am the primary caregiver for my 79 year old Dad who has Alzheimer's disease and lives with me in North Carolina.

I am writing a daily blog that shows the lighter side of caring for someone with dementia.

Please pass this link along to anyone you feel would enjoy it.