Welcome change to NICE guidelines for Alzheimer’s drugs

Campaigners and health professionals have welcomed the recent decision by NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) to recommend the availability of certain drugs to Alzheimer’s sufferers who are in in the early stages of the disease.

 Aricept, Exelon and Reminyl are often prescribed for patients in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s as, in many cases, they slow the progression of the symptoms of the disease. 465,000 people in the UK are currently affected by Alzheimer’s, and another 62,000 people develop the disease each year. The decision by NICE to recommend the provision of these drugs to early-stage sufferers should ensure a better quality of life for those affected by this form of dementia, and their carers.

Dr Antony Bayer welcomes the news

Antony Bayer, Senior Lecturer of the School of Medicine at Cardiff University and Director of the Memory Team, Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust, said: “This is very good news. The NICE guidance means that drug treatment will be available on the NHS that can help people with Alzheimer’s disease, regardless of whether their dementia is mild, moderate or severe. It is not suitable for everyone and is not effective in those with a vascular cause for their dementia. We now need to focus on more research to develop the next generation of treatments that will have even greater benefits.”