§ Mr. Clappison
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment has been made by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence of Ebixa as a treatment for Alzheimer's; which health authorities have allowed it to be prescribed; and if he will make a statement on the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and the use of Ebixa. 
§ Dr. Ladyman
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is appraising memantine (Ebixa) as part of the eighth wave of its work programme. The anticipated publication date of its guidance is May 2005.
The Department has asked national health service bodies (in HSC 1999/176) to continue with local arrangements for the managed introduction of new technologies, including drugs such as memantine, where guidance from NICE is not published at the time the technology first became available. These arrangements should involve an assessment of all the available evidence. Information about which NHS bodies are currently allowing memantine to be prescribed is not collected centrally, but data collected about prescribing shows that memantine has been prescribed on the NHS in all strategic health authority areas.
The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery medical committee has considered the use of memantine and has agreed to prescribe it under certain protocols and shared care agreements.