NICE decision on dementia drugs was based on “common sense” not evidence, expert says

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 11 October 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5642
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

The claim by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence that its decision to recommend three acetylcholinesterase inhibitors for people with mild Alzheimer’s disease is based on new evidence of the drugs’ effectiveness is a “red herring,” an expert has said.

Clive Ballard, from King’s College London and director of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, said that the change in the guidance was more a result of a “constructive dialogue” with interested parties and a new interpretation of existing evidence than novel data becoming available.

NICE announced on 6 October that it was recommending that the three drugs—donepezil (marketed as Aricept), galantamine (Reminyl), and rivastigmine (Exelon)—be prescribed for people with mild forms of the disease in updated draft guidance on the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease …

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