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NHS not ready for new Alzheimer's drugs lecanemab and donanemab, warns charity

Alzheimer's patients could lose out on two groundbreaking new drugs because the NHS is unprepared, a leading charity has told BBC Panorama.

Lecanemab and donanemab slow down the early stages of the disease - which is the most common form of dementia.

But Alzheimer's Research UK says the NHS is not ready to roll out the drugs, which could be licensed this year.

The treatments would then be subject to an assessment of cost and benefits before they are made available.

Lecanemab and donanemab represent a step forward because they target one of the causes of Alzheimer's, rather than treating the symptoms.

However, their effectiveness depends on early diagnosis - and very few people have the specialist scans or investigations which would be needed.

Questions also remain over potentially harmful side-effects of the drugs and whether the benefit they offer represents value for NHS money.

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Source: BBC News, 12 February 2024


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