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NICE backs broader use of AD drugs

October 7, 2010 11:44 PM UTC

The U.K.'s NICE issued an appraisal consultation document that would allow for the broadened use of four Alzheimer's disease (AD) drugs that were restricted in 2006 guidance. NICE now recommends the use of three acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors for their licensed indication of mild to moderate AD: Aricept donepezil from Eisai Co. Ltd. (Tokyo:4523; Osaka:4523) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE); Razadyne ( Reminyl) galantamine from Shire plc (LSE:SHP; NASDAQ:SHPGY) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ); and Exelon rivastigmine from Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS; SIX:NOVN). NICE said patients should first receive the AChE inhibitor with the lowest acquisition cost, but could be switched to an alternate AChE inhibitor if considered appropriate based on adverse events, adherence, comorbidity and drug interactions. The 2006 guidance limited the use of the drugs to patients with moderately severe disease.

NICE also revised its recommendation for Ebixa memantine. The agency now recommends the NMDA receptor antagonist for moderate AD in patients intolerant to AChE inhibitors or in patients with severe AD. H. Lundbeck A/S (CSE:LUN), Neurobiological Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:NTII) and Merz GmbH & Co. KGaA (Frankfurt, Germany) market Ebixa. NICE previously said Ebixa should only be used in clinical trials. The deadline for comments is Oct. 28. ...