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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Response to NICE draft guidance on Alzheimer's drugs

Embargoed until 07 October 2010

Responding to the proposal by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) to update its guidance on the use of four drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, Dr Peter Connelly, chair of the RCPsych's Faculty of the Psychiatry of Old Age, said:

"The RCPsych applauds the decision of NICE to recommend use of cholinesterase inhibitors and Memantine for all people meeting the licensed indications for these drugs.

"We welcome the fact that many more people will have access to effective medication as a consequence of this guidance. We hope that service commissioners will use the guidance to kickstart other essential developments in service provision for people with dementia. The College recognises that all interventions for dementia, when considered individually, each have modest benefits. The art of successful management of a person with dementia and their supporting network of people is to carefully integrate the interventions which might be of most benefit to that particular group of people. We strongly urge commissioners to recognise that 'best supportive care' in many cases still means a very basic and inadequate provision, and not to use the NICE Guidance as an excuse to make further economies in the services available to people with dementia at a time when their number is every increasing. We also urge commissioners to recognise that enhancements in service provision are likely to be required if NICE Guidance is implemented in full.

"The College is aware that the final guidance may differ from that proposed on 7 October 2010. We urge NICE to ensure that whatever changes may be made, the core recommendations of increased availability of cholinesterase inhibitors and Memantine is not reduced in impact."

For further information, please contact:
Sarah Nevins
Press & Social Media Officer
Telephone: 020 3701 2543
Claire McLoughlin
Media & Communications Manager 
Telephone: 020 3701 2544
Out of hours contact number: 07860 755896



NICE draft guidance extends recommendations on Alzheimer's drugs:


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