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House of Lords says NICE must disclose Alzheimer's model

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has been told by the House of Lords that it cannot appeal against an earlier high court ruling

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has been told by the House of Lords that it cannot appeal against an earlier high court ruling that it must disclose the model it used in determining which patients can be treated with Alzheimer's drugs on the NHS.

NICE ruled that Eisai's Aricept (co-marketed by Pfizer), Novartis's Exelon, and Reminyl, which is co-developed by Shire and Janssen, were too expensive to provide to patients who are not in the moderate stages of Alzheimer's. This means thousands in the early and later stages of the disease are denied treatment.

"Today is a small victory in the battle to see justice for thousands of people with Alzheimer's disease and their families. Having access to NICE's model will allow us to scrutinise NICE's calculation and to try and make sense of this unfathomable decision," said Neil Hunt, chief executive of Alzheimer's Society.

"We strongly believe that NICE's decision to deny people in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease access to drugs is fundamentally flawed. For the price of a cup of coffee, drug treatments can give people hope, dignity and time when it is the most precious."

30th October 2008

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