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Alzheimer drug cost warning

The GPC has warned that GP spending on drugs for Alzheimer's disease could spiral out of control as latest Department of Health figures show prescribing costs have more than doubled in a year.

Alzheimer's disease drugs cost the NHS £11.6 million in the year to September 2002, compared with £5.5 million over the previous 12 months, latest Prescription Pricing Authority data shows.

A Commons answer last month revealed that three-quarters of prescriptions for the drugs were issued by GPs.

GPC prescribing chair Dr Peter Fellows said there was huge potential demand for these drugs and they were very expensive.

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