Lawyers claim “concession” over drug prescribing for Alzheimer's disease

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 05 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:11
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    NHS doctors have the discretion to prescribe dementia drugs for patients whose cognitive function scores indicate mild Alzheimer's disease, despite guidance apparently restricting their use to patients with moderate disease, a lawyer for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) told the High Court last week.

    Lawyers for the Alzheimer's Society, which is fighting NICE guidance that limits the use of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors to patients with moderate disease, hailed the statement as a “dramatic concession.”

    But NICE said it was not a concession, but simply an explanation of how its guidance works.

    “Healthcare professionals are expected to take NICE guidance fully into account …

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