NICE reassessment of memory loss drugs could ‘harm future research’

Posted on March 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

An assessment that suggests that three drugs, currently used to treat memory loss with people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, should no longer be used has been widely criticised. The guidance, made by the NHS treatment advisory body the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice), reverses a previous decision about Reminyl, Aricept and Exelon (Donepezil, Rivastigmine and Galantamine) made by Nice in 2001 when it recommended that the drugs should be used as standard. Nice has put forward the draft guidance after assessing the clinical and cost effectiveness of the drugs. The guidance does not mean the drugs do not work or are harmful, just that the cost to the NHS does not warrant the benefits gained from patients taking them. The drugs, which campaigners estimate cost £2.50 per day per patient, improve memory and can make daily living tasks easier. Patients already taking the drugs would not have them withdrawn, Nice said. Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Neil Hunt said: “We are shocked by Nice1

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