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Archive for Saturday, August 11, 2007

Court: Alzheimer’s drug advice needs to change

August 11, 2007

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— A judge ruled Friday that Britain's state-run health service must change the way it advises doctors on supplying some Alzheimer's patients with drugs to treat the brain-destroying disease.

However, the judge upheld an argument by the government medicines monitor that the drugs are only cost-effective for patients in later stages of the illness - defeating an attempt to force authorities to prescribe the medicines to those with early-stage Alzheimer's.

Pharmaceutical companies and Alzheimer's advocates had asked the High Court to overturn a decision by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which declined to approve a group of drugs known as acetyl cholinesterase inhibitors for patients in early stages of the disease.

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