NICE to undergo judicial review on Alzheimer’s decision

Two pharmaceutical companies have won their battle to secure a judicial review of NICE’s decision on Alzheimer’s drugs.

The controversial NICE technology appraisal ruled that only patients with moderate Alzheimer’s disease could be treated with donepezil (Aricept). 

Now Eisai and Pfizer, the co-promoters of Aricept, have been granted a High Court review of NICE’s decision to disallow treatment of newly diagnosed mild Alzheimer's disease. 

The companies applied on the grounds that NICE would not reveal the cost-effectiveness model it used, that some of its conclusions were irrational, and that the use of the mini mental state examination as a rigid diagnostic tool discriminated against some groups. 

Pfizer’s managing director, John Young, said: ‘We accept that NICE has an important role to play on behalf of the NHS and our issue is not what NICE does, but how it has reached this decision.’ 

No date has yet been set for the judicial review.

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