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Dementia drug review

19th June 2008

The government has announced that the medication used in the treatment of dementia patients will be subject to a review.

alzheimers1The review will come in connection with a new plan to make dementia treatment better for patients in Britain.

Approximately 570,000 people suffer from dementia in England, and that amount is projected to top one million in thirty years.

Experts have written to the Health Secretary Alan Johnson to warn that the health service will be unable to cope with the rise in patients. The cost could rise to £35 billion per year by 2028.

Ministers have said the new plans will be available for public consultation over the summer.

Proposed schemes include advisors to help patients through their treatment and memory clinics.

The government would also encourage care homes and acute hospitals to appoint a particular member of staff who would have the responsibility for dementia patients. This would aid care homes to use talking therapies more than medication.

Ivan Lewis, the health minister, said: "Dementia is a condition affecting an increasing number of families in our society and one of the greatest challenges now facing NHS and social care services."

He added that the new plan would: "improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their families, improve the quality of care dementia sufferers receive, increase awareness of the condition and ensure earlier diagnosis and intervention."


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