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Alzheimer’s drug decision challenged


The first UK High Court challenge of a decision by the UK NationalInstitute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) will begin on 25June, as Japanese drug firm Eisai challenges what it has referred to asan unfair and irrational decision on treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

Thejudicial review follows a two-year battle over whether people in theearly stages of Alzheimer’s should have access on the NHS to the onlyeffective drugs to treat this debilitating illness, namely Eisai andPfizer’s Aricept® (donepezil). The drugs cost just £2.50 a day.

NeilHunt, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society – which is acting asan interested party in the judicial review – said the announcement ofthe trial date “brings us a step closer in our fight for justice forpeople with Alzheimer’s disease.” He said NICE had ignored the impactits decision would have on Alzheimer’s patients and their families.”NICE’s process in this case was fatally flawed, and we look forward tochallenging it in court.”

PharmaTimes 9/5/2007

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