UK doesn’t flinch from making hard choices to control costs

UK doesn’t flinch from making hard choices to control costs

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has decided not to cover Alzheimer’s drugs Aricept (donepezil), Reminyl (galantamine), Exelon (rivastigmine) and Ebixa (memantine) for those in the early stages of the disease. The first three can be used for moderate cases and Ebixa was ok’d for more severe cases.

I wonder whether NICE considered whether to allow use in the early stages (when patients still can function) but scrap coverage for moderate patients. It would be an interesting tradeoff to see analyzed. Under that scenario, once a patient progressed to moderate they would lose coverage.

I believe it’s just a matter of time (probably 5 years) before NICE-style decision-making comes to the US.

October 11, 2006

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