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Pfizer claims Britons denied treatment

Date Class
7th Jan 2004 Questionable Business Practice
 
Details
LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Britons suffering from Alzheimer's disease are being denied drugs that can delay disease progression, according to a study by drugmaker Pfizer Inc (nyse: PFE - news - people) showing significant regional variations in spending.

The company, which co-markets Alzheimer's treatment Aricept with Japan's Eisai Co Ltd <4523.T>, said that although overall spending on anti-dementia drugs had increased significantly in the UK, some health authority areas spent four times as much as others.

The study looked at the money being spent in the 52 strategic health authorities and boards across the UK on Aricept as well as Novartis AG's Exelon and Shire Pharmaceuticals Group Plc's s Reminyl.

The idea was to see how backing for the drugs in 2001 from the government's cost effectiveness watchdog, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), had affected spending patterns.

NICE was set up to reduce so-called post-code prescribing, whereby access to treatment varies from area to area. The drugs NICE recommends are supposed to be funded by all health authorities.

The study, however, found that some areas were spending eight pounds or more on anti-dementia drugs per head of population over 65, while others were spending less than two.

The Department of Health disputed the assumptions of the study and noted that the overall amount spent on dementia drugs had risen from 4.8 million pounds in 2000 to over 22 million in 2003.

Copyright 2004, Reuters News Service

 

 

 


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