Thursday, July 26, 2007

Alzheimer's drugs still not reaching those in need

Studies in the late 1990s found that drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors (CHEIs) could be helpful for people in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease and in 2001 the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended that these drugs could be prescribed to individuals with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. However data from a long-term study of 13,004 elderly people has found that people with the condition are still not being prescribed the drugs. Of the 219 people in the study who were diagnosed with dementia between 2001-2003 only 12 were prescribed CHEIs and of the 28 people diagnosed with dementia in 2004 none were given the drugs. People with better education and higher incomes were more likely to be prescribed CHEIs.

Matthews, Fiona E. ... [et al] - Reaching the population with dementia drugs : what are the challenges International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry July 2007, 22(7), 627-631

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