Dementia: Drugs

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 7th June 2022.

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Photo of Kirsten Oswald Kirsten Oswald SNP Deputy Leader, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Women), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Equalities)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has had discussions with the devolved Administrations on the proposal by Alzheimer's Research UK for the establishment of a Dementia Medicines Taskforce.

Photo of Kirsten Oswald Kirsten Oswald SNP Deputy Leader, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Women), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Equalities)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to take steps in response to Alzheimer's Research UK's proposal for the establishment of a Dementia Medicines Taskforce.

Photo of Claire Hanna Claire Hanna Social Democratic and Labour Party, Belfast South

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to projected increases in diagnoses of dementia, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of establishing a dementia medicines taskforce to develop new treatments for the condition.

Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

There have been no specific discussions with the devolved administrations. Officials have met Alzheimer’s Research UK to discuss this proposal and considered routes for accelerating access to such medicines for patients with NHS England and NHS Improvement.

The Accelerated Access Collaborative and the Department’s Commercial Medicines Directorate continually review the development of new medicines, including those for dementia. This provides early indication of such innovative treatments, engaging with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and industry to identify challenges in delivering medicines to patients. The Innovative Licencing and Access Pathway accelerates patient access to medicines. The Innovative Medicines Fund supports early access to the most clinically promising treatments where further data is needed to support NICE’s recommendations for use in the NHS. These initiatives will apply to dementia drugs.

We will set out plans for dementia in England for the next 10 years later this year, including on diagnosis, risk reduction and prevention and research. The strategy will include ambitions for research to develop new disease-modifying treatments.

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