The case is the latest in a series of legal challenges to Britain's National Health Service, which offers free health care and low-cost medicines to all Britons — but is regularly accused of rationing access to treatment.
>Drug companies Eisai Co. Ltd. and Pfizer Inc., 바카라사이트
along with the Alzheimer's Society, want to overturn a decision by the government's medicines watchdog not to approve a group of drugs known as acetyl cholinesterase inhibitors for patients in early stages of the disease.
>The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which regulates use of prscripttion drugs, recommended
last year that three drugs — donepezil, rivastigmine and galantamine — not be prescribed for patients with early stage Alzheimer'
/>It said the treatment was not particularly effective for people with mild Alzheimer's and at about 2.50 pounds ($5) per patient, per day was not cost effective. It recommended the drugs for patients with moderate-stage Alzheimer'
/>"The reality is that, for Alzheimer's disease, drugs are only part of the care that needs to be offered," said Andrew Dillon, chief executive of NIC
/>"Non-drug interventions have an important part to play and the evidence indicates that drugs are simply not effective for some patients
/>The companies and the Alzheimer's Society accuse NICE of telling patients they must get worse before they can be treated
/>Eisai's lawyer, David Pannick, told the court that the decision meant "that the opportunity is lost for delaying the onward march of this appalling disease and maintaining a relatively good quality of life for patients for as long as possible
/>Several Alzheimer's patients and their supporters sat in the public gallery at the start of the four-day High Court hearin
/>Bob Noble, 58, said the drugs had been like "a stay of execution" after he was diagnosed two years ag
/>"The drugs give me a way forward, to rebuild my life to an acceptable level," he said. "It is absolutely critical. Without the drugs I would not be capable of looking after mysel
/>"They are being unfair because they are discriminating against young people, newly diagnosed, by not approving drugs that would give them a good quality of life
/>Last year NICE agreed to widen use of the breast cancer drug Herceptin after several patients went to court demanding treatment with the drug.