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Health: Drugs

House of Lords written question – answered on 24th January 2011.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide funding to make drugs for Alzheimer's available to patients with mild symptoms.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is currently updating its existing guidance on the use of donepezil (Aricept), galantamine (Reminyl), rivastigmine (Exelon) and memantine (Ebixa) for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

NICE issued final draft guidance on 18 January 2011 which recommends the use of donepezil, galantamine and rivastigmine for the treatment of mild and moderate Alzheimer's disease under certain conditions. Memantine is also recommended for patients with moderate and severe Alzheimer's disease. We understand that, subject to any appeals, NICE expects to issue its final guidance in March.

There is a statutory obligation on primary care trusts to make funding available for drugs and treatments recommended by NICE within three months of final NICE technology appraisal guidance being published.

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