Treatments of tomorrow: Preparing for breakthroughs in dementia
Our report, Treatments of Tomorrow: Preparing for breakthroughs in dementia, outlines a number of challenges and pressures in the healthcare system that may present problems for the roll-out of potential disease-modifying treatments of the future.
Dementia affects 850,000 people in the UK, with that number predicted to rise to over 1 million by 2025 as the population ages. With no treatments yet able to affect the course of the underlying diseases, global efforts to develop disease-modifying treatments have begun to accelerate in recent years, spurred on by the G7’s aim of developing such treatments by 2025.
We want to make sure scientific advances benefit the people who need them most and rethink the way new treatments and technologies are taken up by our health system. We know there will be huge demand for any new treatments for dementia, and while progress is being made in research, it’s important to ready ourselves for developments that may be coming through the pipeline.
Our report outlines some of the complex challenges that will need to be considered, and Alzheimer’s Research UK is now working with health services and other organisations to understand how to overcome them.
The comprehensive report recommends a number of actions, including:
- Better ‘horizon scanning’ to help forewarn the NHS about new treatments and diagnostic tools in development;
- Early discussions about the possible impact of disease-modifying dementia treatments between regulators, NHS decision-makers, the pharmaceutical industry and charities;
- Scope for drugs companies and the health service to agree early or conditional access to new disease-modifying treatments where appropriate, alongside ongoing ‘real world’ data collection to understand longer-term effects;
- Any changes to the system recommended by the government’s ongoing Accelerated Access Review work for new dementia treatments.
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