21 December 2012
NHS could provide Alzheimer’s cure
Jeremy Hunt has said that the NHS is likely to invest in a new drug which has showed to slow the progress of the disease. This cost is justified by the fact that the savings in caring for people with the condition will offset the cost of the drug.
Around 800,000 people in Britain live with dementia and 500,000 of these have Alzheimer’s.
Mr Hunt said, “When you become health secretary you look at the whole picture and you realise that there’s a huge amount of cost in not treating people, because the people who have dementia are some of the most vulnerable, who have the highest support needs. If we get a good dementia drug we may fund that, because it is cost effective to use it on a large scale.”
In recent years there have been disappointing results in Alzheimer’s drug trials but new trials are underway and there is much hope for the new developments.
It was announced that £22 million of Government funding will be made available for 21 projects to test new treatments for dementia. These include a trial to determine whether losartan, a drug used to treat high blood pressure, could be used and another into the length of time people living with dementia will be safe in their own homes.
Jeremy Hughes, the chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said, “This funding will give hope to the 800,000 people living with dementia and boost the efforts Alzheimer’s Society is already making to find a cure for the condition.”