NICE draft guidance extends recommendations on Alzheimer’s drugs
In its latest draft guidance, NICE has confirmed that it is extending previous recommendations for the use of three drugs - Donepezil (Aricept, Eisai/Pfizer), galantamine (Reminyl, Shire) and rivastigmine (Exelon, Novartis) - to include mild, as well as moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
It also recommends the use of memantine (Ebixa, Lundbeck) for severe disease and for some patients with moderate disease.
Chief Executive, Sir Andrew Dillon said: “We are pleased to now be able to recommend these three drugs for both mild and moderate Alzheimer’s disease and another for moderate or severe Alzheimer’s, extending recommendations made in 2007.
"Since 2007 clinical trials have continued to show the positive effects of these drugs and, in the case of memantine, have reduced the uncertainty about its clinical effectiveness. In addition, we now have more information about the costs of living with and treating this very distressing disease, as it progresses through its mild, moderate and severe stages."
The draft guidance is now with consultees, who have the opportunity to appeal against the proposed recommendations. Final guidance is expected to be published in March 2011. This new appraisal reviews recommendations made in Technology Appraisal 111 published in September 2007. Until NICE issues final guidance, the recommendations made in 2007 remain in place.