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Watchdog loses Alzheimer’s appeal battle


The UK medicines watchdog was been told it cannot fight a Court of Appeal decision and must now explain why it has blocked the NHS from funding vital Alzheimer’s drugs.

The House of Lords has ruled the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) must release the cost-effectiveness model it used to decide the drugs should not be funded for people with mild Alzheimer’s.

Chiefs at the national body have ruled the drugs, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, could only be funded for those whose dementia was classed as moderate.

However, despite being forced to show how it arrived at the decision, NICE said it will not reverse its ruling.

Chief executive Andrew Dillon said: “Although we are disappointed by the announcement that the House of Lords will not hear our appeal, we will now put in place arrangements for executable versions of our models to be made available to our consultees on request.

“It is important to recognise we have not been asked to amend or withdraw our current guidance on the use of these drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease — the drugs continue to be recommended only for people with moderate Alzheimer’s disease.”

Copyright PA Business 2008

Alzheimer’s Society

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