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Alzheimer's Society

Alzheimer's Society
Disability

Alzheimer's Society

Raising awareness of dementia

Alzheimer's Society forced the issue of dementia to the forefront of the public and political agenda through its three pronged programme of external affairs work. It created the Hands off Dementia Drugs campaign, supported and publicised a major story line on Coronation Street, and published the milestone Dementia UK report.

The Hands of Dementia Drugs campaign was started in reaction to NICE's recommendation to cease access to Alzheimer's drugs on the NHS. As a result of the campaign, NICE was forced to revisit its guidance and in January 2006, reversed its decisions to completely withdraw drug treatments by announcing those in moderate stages of the disease could have access to the drugs

The Coronation Street project saw the charity maximise the opportunity presented by key character Mike Baldwin developing dementia. The show attracts an audience of millions, thereby opening up the issue to many who did not previously understand the condition.

The Dementia UK report was developed to establish a firm evidence based on the impact of dementia in the UK. Over 200 opinion formers, including the Treasury and Department of Health officials attended the launch. The report found that 700,000 people suffer from dementia in the UK, there will be 1.7 million people with dementia by 2050, the economic cost of dementia is over £17 billion a year and family carers save the UK £6 billion a year through providing care. Andrew Chidgey, head of policy and communications says: "These are statistics that cannot be ignored and we are proud to have made sure the country knows how serious the condition is."

Andrew Chidgey
Head of policy and communications
Gordon House
10 Greencoat Place
London SW1P 1PH
020 7306 0883
Reg no: 2115499
www.alzheimers.org.uk

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