FOR THE SAKE OF JUST £2.50
[Daily Mail-Tuesday, February 27-2007]
are denied drugs costing a pittance while the NHS squanders millions on
junkies and image consultants. As a shock report reveals that caring for
dementia patients costs Britain
£17,000,000,000 a year
-the Daily Mail launches a campaign to
end this dreadful injustice
As the devastating human
financial cost of dementia is revealed today, the Daily Mail launches a
campaign to end the restrictions on drugs to treat Alzheinmer,s disease
Already 750,000 Britons are affected by
dementia -more than half of them with Alzheimers - at an estimated cost
to the nation of £17billion a year.
Within two decades the number of
victims will have risen to a million with the bill soaring by many more
billions. YET the NHS's rationing watchdog NICE has banned Alzheimers
drugs which could hugely reduce that bill -even though they
cost just £2.50 per patient a day
That is why we are inviting readers to
FOR THE SAKE of £2.50
-which is mounting a legal challenge to
the NICE decision in the High Court.
It needs to raise many thousands to pay
for the ACTION ,expected to start NEXT MONTH [March-2007] which it
is hoped will prove the process leading to the restriction was unfair.
The drug companies Eisai and Pfizer are
leading a separate legal action on the restrictions -and are NOT
contributing to the Alzheimers Society 's CAMPAIGN.
Britons with dementia already HAVE LESS
ACCESS to diagnostic services and treatment options than patients in
other EU countries. But today a REPORT titled
Dementia UK commisioned by the
-shows that the GOVERNMENT has NO PLANS
for dealing with the explosion in SUFFERERS.
Instead the problem could grow worse as
prescription drugs are withheld from patients from whom they might make
a difference - until their symptoms deteriorate.
Three drugs, Aricept, Exelon and
Reminyl, are no longer available for patients with 'mild' Alzheimers in
ENGLAND and WALES
They compensate for low levels of a
chemical within the brain which helps nerve cells to communicate,
temporally improving or stabilising symptoms in about half the patients
who try them.
How to lower your risk
of Alzheimer's at:
Only patients with 'moderate'
symptoms are eligible for these medicines, while a new drug called Ebixa
which improves severe behavioural problems cab be used only as a part of
a clinical trial.
Thousands of patients and careers,
doctors and specialists in care of the elderly have protested over the
decision by NICE, the National Institute for Health and Clinical
Excellence. Neil Hunt, the Chief Executive of the Alzheimers Society,
said the GOVERNMENT was sending out the wrong message to patients and
their families. Spending a little money now on drugs which can slow the
disease makes good economic sense in the medium and long term, he said
'The Dementia UK- Report clearly shows
that to reduce the burden of dementia on individuals and society we need
to try to delay the progression of the disease.
'This will not only save money but most
importantly improve people's quality of life. That is why NICE decision
to restrict the use of Alzheimers drugs on the NHS makes
'NICE has got its sums wrong. It hasn't
taken into account the TRUE COST of DEMENTIA CARE, to the NHS, SOCIAL
SERVICES, FAMILIES and INDIVIDUALS.
'For too long the TRUE COST of DEMENTIA
has been HIDDEN. Today we can say for sure:
This is what DEMENTIA COSTS, lets now
PROPER PLANS IN PLACE.'
The Dementia Society UK -Report was
prepared by the
LONDON SCHOOL of ECONOMICS and KING'S
It says the cost of £17billion each
year includes NHS and SOCIALS SERVICES, lost income and taxes from
carers, and the estimated contribution from unpaid carers.
Delaying the onset of dementia
by five years would half the number of related deaths, saving nearly
30,000 lives annually.
Mr Hunt said: 'The NICE decision
ignores the benefits these treatments offer legions of unpaid carers and
the millions of pounds they save the country every year. Drug treatments
are just one part of the CARE and TREATMENT that a person with dementia
needs but can be a
Actor Richard Briers starred as a
husband caring for his wife with Alzheimer's in the 2005 BBC film
He said he was greatly affected by the
research he did for the role.
Yesterday he said:
'Thank you to the Daily Mail for
backing the CAMPAIGN to overturn this disastrous decision by NICE. £2.50
is such a small price to pay for treatment which can make a world of
difference to the thousands with Alzheimer's and the millions more who
care for a loved one with this devastating disease.'
Daily Mail -COMMENT
Alzheimer's is a
truly dreadful illness. It afflicts 400,000 Britons and the number is
sure to rise dramatically as the population ages.
Starting with little more than
occasional memory lapses it can swiftly rob the sufferer of independence
and dignity and leave them incapable of any sort of reasonable
And who can imagine what it must be
like to be a loving carer who not only needs to devote their life to
looking after a parent, husband or wife, but has to watch their nearest
and dearest reduced to a pitiable husk?
But it need not always be so. A group
of drugs can slow the degenerative process, bringing huge relief to
sufferers and careers.
THE COST A PALTRY -£2.50 PER DAY.
YET they are denied to many because the
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) won't
allow them to be prescribed in the early stages of the disease.
There is nothing rational about that
decision. NICE first allowed the drug then it did not, and now it says
it may only be given to patients in the middle statge.
It is the belief of the Alzheimers
Society that this decision was taken simply to save money. That is WHY
it is seeking a
The cost of providing the drug to all
who would benefit would be about £180 million a year -a tiny proportion
HEALTH SERVICE'S BUDGET.
-in which £172 million a year is wasted
£90 million on LUXURY CARS.
Of course, part of the problem is that
Alzheimer's is not a fashionable illness, affecting as it does mainly
the elderly. The NHS prefers, as we have reported yesterday to divert
£12 million to provide HEROIN to
But consider this: the annual cost of
dementia, according to a new report now tops £17billion. At just £2.50
per day, these drugs could help that figure down.
The Alzheimer's Society's legal
challenge has implications for hundreds of thousands of patients and
IT NEEDS OUR SUPPORT
NOT JUST IN SPIRIT
no matter how small, will make a difference. If 60,000 of the Mail's
hugely generous readers each contributed
-the Alzheimer's Society would
raise the money it needs.
You can help them by filling in the coupon [Tuesday's
-dated February 27-2007 or ringing the number
0870 085 1024
Make a cheque out to 'Daily Mail' and send to
PO Box 95, Aldershot
THIS IS A FIGHT WHICH MUST BE WON
How to lower your risk of Alzheimer's
[For a clear text copy -click here]
THE PEOPLE HAVE
SPOKEN-IS THE EU COMMISSION LISTENING?
Ditch the EU TREATY after IRISH REJECTION
[Daily Mail-Wednesday, June
MORE THAN HALF of voters believe Britain should
drop the controversial European Treaty in the wake of its
rejection in last week's
The poll comes as the Tories launch a last-ditch
bid in the
HOUSE of LORDS
today to delay the
have signed a
within the past few days
, calling on the
NOT TO RATIFY THE BILL
[WHY DON'T YOU?]