Monday 17 December 2018
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Cost of Aricept to drop after patent protection expires

The cost of one of the most widely-prescribed Alzheimer's treatments is to reduce as a generic version is launched in the UK.

Donepezil, which can slow the symptoms of the disease in the early to moderate stages, had previously only been available under the brand name Aricept. After the expiry of its patent, the generic version of the drug has now been released which carries the same chemical makeup. This is the second generic Alzheimer's treatment to be launched this month.

Alzheimer's Society comment:

'This is fantastic news for people with Alzheimer's and for the NHS. These treatments can be extremely helpful for people in the early to moderate stages of Alzheimer's disease. They can help people remember the names of their grandchildren, how to make a cup of tea, or the address of the house they have lived in for the past 30 years. However, currently only around 10 per cent of those people with Alzheimer's disease are being prescribed the right treatment.

'The fact that a low-cost version is now available will save the NHS millions of pounds and should give GPs the extra motivation to ensure people with dementia are offered the right prescription. Everyone with Alzheimer's disease should be given the opportunity to try these treatments.'

Jeremy Hughes
Chief Executive
Alzheimer's Society