Glenn Rees argues that only a small proportion of people living with Alzheimer's disease get access to the right medications.
Glenn Rees argues that only a small proportion of people living with Alzheimer's disease get access to the right medications.

Doctors should be free to decide: Rees

DOCTORS should be allowed to "exercise their own judgement" when prescribing Alzheimer's medication to ageing people, says lobbyist Glenn Rees.

Chief executive of Alzheimer's Australia, Mr Rees said out of date and excessively complex rules for access to anti-dementia medicine must be changed to allow such medicines to be prescribed at a doctor's discretion.

The Federal Government is currently review the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, and what medicines should be subsidised and how widely available the drugs should be.

"Only a small proportion of people living with Alzheimer's disease get access to these medications," Mr Rees said.

"The current rules are restrictive and not cost-effective when you take into account the time taken by specialists and consumers that have to jump through hoops to get access to this much-needed medication.

"Many consumers who experience a significant benefit from these medications do not meet the strict criteria for continuation.

"As a result, large numbers of consumers are paying for these medications out of their own pocket."

 

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