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Alzheimer Europe Press release: Alzheimer Europe calls on French health authorities to continue reimbursing anti-Alzheimer’s medicines

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Brussels, 26 June 2018 – At its meeting of 26 June 2018, the Alzheimer Europe Board condemned the recent decision of the French government to exclude current medicines licensed for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease from the reimbursement system.

The organisation also expressed grave concerns about the sensationalist and scientifically baseless media coverage in some media claiming that these drugs “killed more people than they ever helped”.

Whilst recognising that these medicines “only” provide symptomatic relief for a group of patients for limited periods, Alzheimer Europe reiterated its position for the continued reimbursement of these drugs:

  • Enough clinical evidence exists to support their use since clinical trials have shown them to be effective not only in improving memory, but also for beneficial effects on behaviour, activities of daily living and well-being. Subsequent meta-analyses and Cochrane reviews have all confirmed this efficacy.
  • This clinical data on the effectiveness of anti-Alzheimer drugs is supported by testimonies of great numbers of people living with the condition and their carers.
  • All clinical guidelines such as the European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS) Guideline for the diagnosis and management of Alzheimer’s disease support the use of these medicines.
  • No significant safety issues have been identified through the pharmacovigilance system of the European Medicines Agency.
  • The existence of these medicines has contributed to the development of dementia care through an expansion of memory clinics and other specialised services offering timely diagnosis, advice and support for people with dementia and their carers.
  • The discontinued prescription of these medicines would take away one of the main reasons for people coming forward for an early diagnosis of their condition who would therefore no longer benefit from other significant advantages of an early diagnosis.
  • European citizens should have equal rights to protection and access to health care regardless of their country of residence and Alzheimer Europe regrets that people with Alzheimer’s disease in France are excluded from accessing medicines reimbursed in other European countries.

Therefore, Alzheimer Europe and its members organisations fully support the campaign and on-line petition of France Alzheimer which calls for the continued reimbursement of these medicines.

For further information, contact:

Jean Georges, Executive Director of Alzheimer Europe, 14, rue Dicks, L-1417 Luxembourg, Tel.: +352-29 79 70, Fax: +352-29 79 72, jean.georges@alzheimer-europe.org, www.alzheimer-europe.org

The full position of Alzheimer Europe on the reimbursement of anti-Alzheimer medicines can be found here: https://www.alzheimer-europe.org/Policy-in-Practice2/Our-opinion-on/Anti-dementia-drugs

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