New Alzheimer’s drugs on the NHS welcomed

Mike Freer MP has welcomed the National Institute for Clinical Excellence’s (NICE) decision to provide four new drugs to Alzheimer’s sufferers.  Mike is the Vice-Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Alzheimer’s disease.


NICE yesterday published draft guidance that means three drugs (Aricept, Exelon and Reminyl) will be available on the NHS for people in the early and moderate stages of Alzheimer's disease.  These treatments have up to now been restricted to people in the moderate stages. A fourth drug, Ebixa, which is not currently prescribed at all on the NHS, will also be made available to people in the moderate to late stages.


Mike said, “I’m very pleased at NICE’s decision which comes as a result of years of campaigning for better access to drugs for those with Alzheimer’s.  In Finchley and Golders Green we have one of the largest pensioner populations in the country and dementia is an increasing problem for both the council and local charities, so this news will make a big difference to them as well as thousands of local residents.


At this stage it’s a draft decision so we’ll keep pushing until we know if it is upheld in a few months, but in the meantime it’s not too early for people to begin discussing options with their GPs.”


A consultation will be carried out before the guidance is finalised which, if approved, the NHS then has three months to implement.