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Minister Welcomes Proposed Alzheimer’s Trials

2 April 2002

Associate Health Minister Ruth Dyson today welcomed two Pharmac proposals to look at the benefits of treatment for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

One proposal is a drug-free lifestyle programme for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families/carers; the other is a clinical drug trial.

In the first initiative, Pharmac is working with Alzheimers Auckland to fund a three-year ‘Positive Lifestyle’ programme involving 200 people with Alzheimer’s disease.

“The programme is designed to improve life for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families/carers by increased levels of home support,” Ms Dyson said.

“It will provide an excellent base of information to develop further policy and appropriate levels of support in their homes for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families, in line with the Positive Ageing Strategy and the Health of Older People Strategy.”

In the second initiative, Pharmac is looking at funding a New Zealand clinical trial of at least one Alzheimer’s drug, using a select group of people considered most likely to benefit from medication.

Ruth Dyson said she was delighted that Pharmac was working with Alzheimers New Zealand and clinicians to develop the proposals.

“These initiatives will help us improve the treatment available for people with Alzheimer’s disease. We will be able to compare the relative effectiveness of each initiative, as well as comparing the outcomes for people not involved in either trial.”

Ms Dyson said the initiatives would be considered by the Pharmac board as soon as they are fully developed, hopefully at its next meeting at the end of April.


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