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07 October 2010
Hundreds of thousands
could gain access to Alzheimer’s treatments
HUNDREDS of thousands of people
with Alzheimer’s disease who have been denied medical treatment
could soon be given access to life-changing drugs on the NHS. The
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE),
Thursday, 07 October 2010, ruled that the medications, which cost
just Ł2.80 per person per day, are cost effective and should be
available on prescription.
The draft decision is a victory for people with Alzheimer’s disease
and their carers who have campaigned with Alzheimer’s Society and
other organisations for full access to the drug treatments since
they were controversially restricted in 2007.
Ruth Sutherland, Interim Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society
says:- "This is a momentous day for thousands of people with
Alzheimer’s and their carers. These drugs can help people have a
better quality of life at all stages of the condition. While they
don’t work for everyone, small but important benefits can enable
many people to recognise their loved ones for longer, play with
their grandchildren or make vital plans for the future. Alzheimer’s
Society welcomes the draft decision and will now be campaigning for
more people to have access to the treatments from today."
If the draft decision is upheld three drugs – Aricept, Exelon and
Reminyl – would 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,
called Ebixa, would also be made available to people in the moderate
to late stages.
Anne-Marie Cagliarini, Alzheimer’s Society’s Merseyside Locality
Manager says:- "This is fantastic news for people living with
Alzheimer’s in Merseyside and all over the UK. If this guidance is
issued, doctors will be able to prescribe treatments which are in
the best interest of their patient. It will also be a strong
incentive for GPs to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease earlier and will
hopefully encourage people who are worried about their memory to
visit their doctor. Early diagnosis and intervention mean better
choice and control in the support and care available."
Phil Dickinson, 53, from West Derby, Liverpool, Merseyside, is a
part-time carer to his step-father, John Williams, 79. Phil says:-
"My step-father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2006, having
previously been misdiagnosed with Parkinson’s. After discussions
with medical specialists, I battled for a reassessment. After
further tests, my step-father was immediately diagnosed with
Alzheimer’s and given Aricept. The important thing for us is that
Aricept has helped my step-father keep his independence. This new
guidance from NICE is great news, as hopefully it will benefit
There are 465,000 people with Alzheimer’s in the UK and 62,000
people develop the disease every year. In compiling its latest
guidance, NICE used a different model to assess the
cost-effectiveness of the drugs and concluded they can now be shown
to offer value for money. Also
NICE is inviting people to comment on the draft decision by 28
October 2010, with a second meeting of the Appraisal Committee
taking place on 25 November 2010.
PUB WATCH LAUNCHED IN
THE eyes are ears of local
licensees are helping to crack down on crime in West Derby, as
publicans join forces with Merseyside Police to launch a pub watch
The initiative, is being introduced in West Derby, after members of
the local neighbourhood team met with representatives from local
pubs in the area, which led to a number of licensees showing their
full support by signing up on the spot.
Pub watch links licensees with the police, so that they can tackle
an anti-social behaviour or criminal activity together. By working
together and sharing information, pub watch will identify
problematic customers and the police will be notified immediately.
Officers will take positive action against anyone who is acting in a
disorderly manner and if necessary banning orders will be issued to
deny people entering all pub watch premises.
Neighbourhood Inspector Steve Powell said:- "We believe that
this joined up approach will make a big difference in the area. We
hope it will reassure local businesses and members of the public
that we are committed to taking action against anti-social behaviour
and irresponsible drinkers. The scheme is expanding to new
premises on a daily basis and we hope in the future to involve local
restaurants and shops as well. West Derby is a great place to come
and have a drink or a meal and we will be working closely with a
variety of partners to make sure it stays that way."
Heather Davis Chairperson for the West Derby Pub Watch:- "The
West Derby pub watch will be run with the full cooperation of local
pubs, businesses and also Merseyside Police. West Derby is a safe
and friendly place where people can enjoy a night out with family
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