Alzheimer’s alliance formed ahead of NICE ruling

A 30-strong alliance of Alzheimer’s and dementia care charities is embarking on a PR push ahead of a ruling on whether treatment should be available on the NHS.

The Action on Alzheimer's Drug Alliance was formed in July after the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) promised to review its provisional decision to reverse its 2001 recommendation that the UK's four anti-Alzheimer's drugs should be made available to NHS patients.

A NICE committee is due to meet in mid-December to either confirm the decision to withdraw its recommendation, or restate its original ruling that the drugs should be available for free.

The charity alliance – led by the Alzheimer's Society comms team – has launched a Hands Off Dementia Drugs campaign to keep the issue in the news.

Celebrities including Lynda Bellingham, Jo Brand, Richard Briers, Britt Ekland and Nicola Wheeler (Emmerdale's Nicola Blackstock) have been photographed with their 'priceless memory' on their hands.

Alzheimer's Society press officer Gayle Wing said the photos were being pitched to the nationals, lifestyle and celebrity press.

'We are also making use of our strong branch network and will be helping offices run campaigns targeting their local press,' she added.

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