Ban on Alzheimer's Drugs Questioned

by Medindia Content Team on  December 20, 2005 at 9:16 PM Drug News   - G J E 4
Ban on Alzheimer's Drugs Questioned
In London Health care officials meet to evaluate the ban imposed on the use of new Alzheimer's drugs. This has created major disturbances among patients and drug companies.

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) committee will talk or conduct discussions around the world about the growing technology and its price.

At present the drug costs, 1000 pounds/patient/year.

Alzheimer is a disease prevalent throughout the world and statistics reveal that in the next 20 years the number of people suffering from the disease will be doubled. It also predicted that 2040, 81 million people will be under its grip.

NICE said that the present drug for Alzheimer, anti-cholinesterase drugs that do not provide any cure to the patients but helps the patients are very costly. But it did not execute the ban on these drugs due to the fact that new evidences supporting the usefulness of the drug in certain patients were provided.

This agency, The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) was founded in 1999 to scrutinize the cost of drugs and surgical procedures with regard to its benefits.

The final decision regarding the ban on these drugs will be notified by the beginning of the next year.

The drugs in debate are Aricept (Pfizer Inc and Eisai Co Ltd's), Reminyl (Johnson & Johnson and Shire Pharmaceuticals Group Plc), Novartis AG's Exelon and Ebixa (Lundbeck). These drugs are useful in the treatment of mild to moderate form of the disease except for Ebixa which is used in serious conditions.

The drug manufacturers like Pfizer and Eisai said that Aricept was very cost effective patients maintained cognitive levels even after six months of using the drug. And hence they suggested that all patients should be entitled to receive the treatment to know about the effectiveness of the drug.

Britain's Alzheimer's Society and The Association for the British Pharmaceutical Industry both were against the initial ban levied on the drug.


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