New research presented at the annual meeting of ISPOR suggests that prescribing Aricept on diagnosis of either mild or moderate Alzheimer's disease would save the NHS money.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) currently recommends that Aricept is not prescribed to people in the mild stages of Alzheimer's disease. This study, sponsored by Eisai, takes into account factors not considered by NICE, including cost of caregiver time. It suggests that savings to the NHS and society would be £7,100 per patient over a ten-year period if people with dementia are prescribed Aricept earlier.
A review of the NICE guidance is anticipated later this year.
'Alzheimer's Society has consistently stated that NICE's decision to deny people with dementia access to the only drugs for their condition is unethical and is based on flawed calculations. It disregards the difficulties associated with getting an accurate assessment in the early and middle stages and does not take into account factors such as the benefits treatments bring to carers.
This industry-funded research has examined the cost efficiency of prescribing one of these drugs in the early stages. It uses a complex financial model that considers a wider range of factors and concludes that prescribing this treatment would save NHS money.
NICE must tackle the flaws in its calculations to ensure people with dementia can get access to effective treatments. Alzheimer's Society hopes to see this addresses in the forthcoming review of the NICE guidance.'
Dr Susanne Sorensen
Head of Research
Getslos, Blume, Ishak and Maclaine, Cost-effectiveness Study in Patients with Mild to Moderately Severe Alzheimer's Disease: Projected Benefits of Donepezil in the UK