NICE refuses the appeal for Alzheimer's drug treatments

NICE has today (Wednesday 11 October) announced that the appeals lodged by stakeholders against draft guidance on the use of drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease have not been upheld.

Test for Alzheimer's disease
Test for Alzheimer's disease

This final guidance from NICE will recommend to the NHS in November that donepezil, galantamine and rivastigmine should only be considered as options for treatment of people with moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Memantine is only recommended as part of clinical studies for people with moderate-severe to severe Alzheimer’s disease.

In 2001 NICE guidance recommended that the Alzheimer’s drugs should be used as a standard treatment. However, a further appraisal in 2005 resulted in NICE stating that the drugs should be restricted as the cost of treating these patients was not supported by the available evidence.

The pharmaceutical manufacturers were asked to present further evidence of the effectiveness of these treatments in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease.

Andrew Dillon, NICE chief executive, said: ‘Alzheimer’s is a cruel and devastating illness and we realise that today’s announcement will be disappointing to people with Alzheimer’s disease and those who treat and care for them. But we have to be honest and say that based on all the evidence, including data presented by the drug companies themselves, our experts have concluded that these drugs do not make enough difference for us to recommend their use for treating all stages of Alzheimer’s disease.’

Pfizer and Eisai, manufacturers of donepezil, are reported to be considering a judicial review of the decision.


eMIMS links

Alzheimer's dementia

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Medico-legal: Intimate examinations and chaperones during COVID-19

Medico-legal: Intimate examinations and chaperones during COVID-19

Remote consultations are likely to be a key part of general practice for months to...

NHS England promises detail on additional flu funding ‘by end of August’

NHS England promises detail on additional flu funding ‘by end of August’

GPs may have to wait until the end of August to find out details of any additional...

Why 63% of GPs expect to do more home-working after COVID-19

Why 63% of GPs expect to do more home-working after COVID-19

Working from home was one of the key issues raised in GPonline's survey of more than...

Lack of support during the menopause leading female doctors to quit

Lack of support during the menopause leading female doctors to quit

A lack of support during the menopause has led some female doctors to consider reducing...

One in three single-handed GPs at high-risk from COVID-19

One in three single-handed GPs at high-risk from COVID-19

A third of single-handed GPs are at high-risk from COVID-19, which could potentially...

Viewpoint: PCNs can be at the forefront of tackling health inequalities

Viewpoint: PCNs can be at the forefront of tackling health inequalities

Dr Mark Spencer explains how the COVID-19 pandemic helped his primary care network...