The NHS will continue to provide crucial drugs to patients who suffer from moderate dementia, according to the revised plans which have been unveiled. There were protests from campaigners and doctors earlier when the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) had announced that Alzheimer's drugs were no longer cost effective, and the NHS will not provide them. As many as three drugs have been recommended by the Appraisal Committee of the NHS which will be provided to people suffering from the disease.
The cholinesterase inhibitors called the rivastigmine, galantamine, donepezil,
and memantine can serve to alleviate Alzheimer's symptoms, but they are not considered cost effective by the NHS, as its per day cost is at £2.50 per patient. Memantine which provides relief in the latter stages is not one among the three drugs contemplated by the NHS, according to the revised plan. The UK has a total of 72,000 people who suffer from the milder form of Alzheimer's, while another 309,000 fall under the category known as moderate to severe. The new guidelines are expected to be published in 2006, and it will be applicable to patients who have been recently diagnosed.