Alzheimer’s drug access widened

A PBAC review of the use of donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine and memantine was initiated because of fears the drugs were being prescribed for too long, without improvement in rates of institutionalisation and death.

The drugs could only be prescribed beyond six months if the patient demonstrated a two-point improvement on the mini-mental state exam (MMSE).

From 1 May changes to the PBS mean patients can continue treatment for as long as their doctor and carers consider it effective. The review emphasised clinicians should exercise caution in

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