PROTESTERS angry over the potential withdrawal of dementia drugs from the NHS are taking their fight to London.
Members of the Vale Royal branch of the Alzheimer's Society will be travelling to the capital on June 27 to take part in a national day of action precipitated by proposals from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to limit access to treatments for Alzheimer's.
Under the proposals, Ebixa, Donepezil, Rivastigmine and Galantamine would still be provided on the NHS, but only to patients with moderate symptoms - excluding those in the mild and severe stages of the disease.
The guidance will only apply to newly diagnosed patients and NICE has said that making the drugs available to people in the moderate stages of Alzheimer's will still benefit about 40% of those with the condition. A final decision will be made next month.
But campaigners are disgusted by what they see as a 'cost-cutting' exercise, putting the estimated £2.50 daily cost of treatment per person before their quality of life.
They will be calling on Weaver Vale MP Mike Hall to register their protest while those who can't travel to London are sending cheques for £2.50 to Mr Hall, made payable to the 'NHS Alzheimer's Drugs Fund', demanding to know why the NHS can't afford to help people with Alzheimer's.
Trish Farrar, manager of the North-wich-based Vale Royal branch, said: 'NICE's decision to deny people with Alzheimer's disease access to drug treatments is cruel and unnecessary.
'There are 750,000 people in the UK who are affected by dementia which is set to double in the next 45 years.
'This is why we're asking people to help now, if you can't join the protest then just spending a few moments contacting your MP could help give you or someone you know years back in the future.'
A Northwich carer says she 'shocked and appalled' by NICE's proposal.
The woman, who did not want to be named, said: 'As a carer for my husband I can assure you that these drugs do work. They have returned my husband to me - giving us invaluable extra time, memories and hope.
'Are we to watch those we love slip away before we can appreciate their last moments with those who love them? You cannot put a price on these extra moments.'