Aricept and similar medications - do you have to pay for these?

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by Tricot, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. Tricot

    Tricot Registered User

    Jun 20, 2017
    84
    France
    I have read quite a bit on this forum about Aricept, the fact that only Alzheimer's sufferers can benefit from it, but also that not everyone is suited to it. It never occurred to me to ask whether this drug is available to all, regardless of income. Surely something that can give a little hope in this dark landscape is not a postcode lottery?
     
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    10,088
    Female
    London
    #2 Beate, Jun 28, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
    I see that you are in France and I have no idea how the system works over there, but over here all medication is free if you are over 60 or have a condition that qualifies you for a medical exemption certificate. Otherwise you pay the prescription fee which is £8.80 at the moment, though you can prepay to get it a bit cheaper if you have to pay for a lot of medication per year. Obviously you need to get it prescribed first, it's not an over the counter medication. So I would say most people with dementia do not need to pay for their medication.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/nhs-prescription-charges-from-1-april-2018

    https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/exemption-certificates/medical-exemption-certificates
     
  3. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,316
    Salford
    My wife paid for Aricept for a few years then when she was prescribed Citlopram I go her a pre-paid card which was (at the time) £102 for a year and that gets you all your prescriptions free.
    When she hit 60 all the prescriptions were free but under 60 you do have to pay for Aricept.
    K
     
  4. Tricot

    Tricot Registered User

    Jun 20, 2017
    84
    France
    Thank you Beate and Kevin for your replies. I've left it too late to reply fully but will post tomorrow.
     
  5. Chadw1ck

    Chadw1ck New member

    Jul 5, 2018
    1
    My mother's walking improved markedly when she started taking Donepezil. Stopped shuffling in house and can walk over a mile with stick and support. Walking is a good way to unwind her when she is otherwise implacable.
     
  6. Tricot

    Tricot Registered User

    Jun 20, 2017
    84
    France
    Thank you for your response, @Chadw1ck. That's very good news for your mother, and for you of course. Carers have such a load to bear. Walking is so beneficial in many ways.

    Is Donepezil an alternative to Aricept or something quite different? I'm appalled to find that here in France where the Health Service is supposed to be superior and is said to lead the way in the treatment of Alzheimer's, from next month, people will only be able to have Aricept if they pay for it themselves - around 340€ (£300) per month! So, Happy Birthday NHS, you're not doing so bad.
     
  7. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    10,088
    Female
    London
    It's the same medicine, just a different brand name.
    I know, I don't understand what France is doing here.
     
  8. Tricot

    Tricot Registered User

    Jun 20, 2017
    84
    France
    Well, @Beate, I can tell you what France is doing here: I live in France, I may have Alzheimer's and I'm worried sick that if I have got it, the one medication that may slow things down will not be available to me if I can't find the not insignificant sum of £300 each month.
     
  9. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    15,632
    Male
    North Manchester
    Aricept was the first proprietary drug containing donepezil hydrochloride, when it went off licence the price fell dramatically as other firms could market it. This was UK, I assume France is the same especially as I think the licence period was shorten by an EU regulation. Proprietaries may cost more than generics in France

    Current UK prices for generics are far lower than £300/mth

    Donepezil is available as tablets and orodispersible tablets. Net prices are stated. The cost of tablets is £59.85 (5 mg, 28-tablet pack) and £83.89 (10 mg, 28-tablet pack). The cost of orodispersible tablets is £59.85 (5 mg, 28-tablet pack) and £83.89 (10 mg, 28-tablet pack) ('British national formulary' [BNF] edition 60). Costs may vary in different settings because of negotiated procurement discounts.

    https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ta217/chapter/3-the-technologies

    When my wife was on Memantine the pharmacy supplied (NHS prescription) a French manufactured generic as it was cheaper, bit confusing for those with no knowledge of French Mon/Tue/Wed/...became Lun/Mar/Mer/... on the blister packs. The pharmacy had slips of paper available with translation. I thought it strange that they did not have to stick labels on the blister packs, or at least one on the box.
     

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