Terry Pratchett, the 60 year old celebrated writer, well known for his fantasy stories on Discworld, is unhappy with the NHS’s stance of denying open access to the drug Aricept, which is known to improve symptoms of the disease. Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with early-onset dementia in December 2007.
Following the advice of The National Institute for Clinical Excellence, that the drug be enabled to victims suffering only severe forms of the disease, The NHS has disallowed free access to this drug throughout the United Kingdom with the exception of Scotland. This drug would cost each patient about £2.50 a day.
Mr Pratchett said: "I'm a millionaire so I have no trouble paying but there are people who can't. I think it's a sufficiently unpleasant disease to be worth the £2.50 a day Aricept costs. My wife and PA both noticed real changes in me after two or three months on it. I used to fumble with buttons and needed help with seatbelts. Now, I get dressed normally and seatbelts slide in first time. Mentally, it's the difference between a sunny day and an overcast day. Ye Gods, that's worth it!"
Outlining the problems in the NHS system, he questioned the basis of NICE’s decision to provide Viagra on the NHS, but rejecting Aricept.
He said: "I see nothing wrong with people purchasing extra medical care. It's really no different than people choosing to buy cars and houses. It’s not fair to punish people who can afford to pay for a non-NHS drug, but might not be able to afford to pay for all their medical care."