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Eisai files to appeal against High Court ruling

Eisai, manufacturer of Alzheimer's disease drug Aricept and its co-promotion partner Pfizer appeal the High Court ruling regarding patient access to Alzheimerπs drugs on the NHS

Eisai, manufacturer of Alzheimer's disease drug Aricept (donepezil), and its co-promotion partner Pfizer, have applied for permission to appeal the High Court ruling regarding patient access to Alzheimerπs drugs on the NHS.

The Japanese company has lodged an application to appeal on the point of procedural fairness based on the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's (NICE's) refusal to disclose a working version of the cost-effectiveness model it used to determine the value of treatment in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease.

Last month campaigners failed in their High Court bid to make the NHS fund Alzheimer's drugs for those in the early stages of the disease.

However, they did win a partial victory as NICE will have to reconsider guidance for people with learning disabilities and those whose first language is not English.

Dr Paul Hooper, managing director of Eisai UK said: "We are sad that we are having to take this further action. We maintain our belief that NICE should be required to be fully transparent in the way in which they reach their decisions surrounding the cost effectiveness of medicines."

The Alzheimer's Society, however, has decided not to appeal the High Court ruling regarding NICE.

Neil Hunt, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society, said: "We still believe that it makes no clinical, monetary or moral sense to deny people in the early stages of Alzheimer's access to drugs, but we do not plan to pursue our legal arguments further in the courts. Instead, we look to the government, in its review of NICE, to eradicate the glaring flaws in NICE's process that have lead to this unacceptable position."

28th September 2007

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