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NICE reverses Alzheimer's drug decision

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The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has extended the use of three drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

Aricept, exelon and reminyl - which are currently available through the NHS to sufferers of the condition who have moderate to severe symptoms - have now been approved for patients with milder problems.

A fourth drug - ebixa - will be extended to people suffering more moderate symptoms after only previously being given to those in the late stages of the disease, NICE has confirmed.

The extension has proved to be a u-turn from the drugs rationing body which has reversed its original guidance from four years ago, which resulted in a campaign for the decision to be changed.

The drugs cost around £2.80 per patient per day, slowing down progression of the condition, and meaning patients can continue to recognise their loved ones or remain independent in their own homes for longer.

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