Alzheimer’s Patients Fight New Rules on Drug Availibility

29 Jun 2007 | by Caroline Sweeney

At the end of June hearings took place in R(EISAI) and Alzheimer’s Society v NICE.

The case concerns a challenge to guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (“NICE”) which restricts the availability of drugs which serve to inhibit the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease. This is the first time NICE is being challenged.

Previously, the drugs had been available to patients with mild or moderate Alzheimer’s Disease.  The effect of the new guidance issued by NICE was to restrict availability to patients suffering from mild Alzheimer’s Disease.  The companies which manufactured the drugs and the Alzheimer’s Society argued that the Guidance was unlawful for a range of reasons, including a breach of the requirements of the Race Relations Act 1976. Judgment is expected on 10 August.

Tim Ward and Gerry Facenna acted for the Alzheimer’s Society.

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Tim Ward QC
Gerry Facenna