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NICE claims GPs use its guidance but the institute may not be as influential as it thinks, writes Sanjay Tanday character style.
Whether it is being accused of denying patients a potentially life-saving treatment or angering drug manufacturers with its perceived lack of transparency, it seems that barely a week goes by in which NICE does not attract controversy.
Earlier this month, NICE was taken to court by Eisai, the makers of the main acetyl cholinesterase inhibitor Aricept, over its decision to restrict the use of Alzheimer's drugs in those with mild to moderate disease.
The High Court ruled that NICE had used 'discriminatory' tests to assess Alzheimer's in people with learning disabilities and people whose first language is not English.
However, the court upheld NICE's decision to restrict the use of Alzheimer's drugs on the grounds of cost-effectiveness.
But Eisai has announced that it will appeal against what it called a 'morally reprehensible' decision.
It is controversial decisions like this that …