Significant Study Findings Showed Persistent Therapy With ARICEPT(R) (Donepezil HCl Tablets) Was Associated With Delayed Nursing Home Placement For Alzheimer's Patients

Jul 01, 2003, 01:00 ET from Eisai Inc. from ,Pfizer Inc

    NEW YORK, July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Persistent treatment with the leading
 Alzheimer's treatment, ARICEPT(R) may help Alzheimer's patients and their
 families by delaying entry into a nursing home.  A study published in this
 month's Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS) showed that
 dementia-related nursing home placement was delayed for nearly two years (21
 months) in patients taking ARICEPT(R) for at least nine months.  These
 findings suggest that long-term treatment may help patients remain in their
 communities longer.  Delaying nursing home placement may decrease the
 financial burden associated with caring for Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients.
 Keeping families together longer may also have important social and emotional
     As Alzheimer's disease progresses, patients lose their ability to perform
 basic functions, such as dressing and bathing, and become more dependent on
 their caregivers for help.  As a result, caregivers often experience stress
 and financial strain.  As these functions continue to deteriorate throughout
 the progression of the disease and caregiver burden increases, many patients
 require nursing home care.
     Residential care for patients with Alzheimer's disease takes a major toll
 on society.  Total healthcare costs for Alzheimer's disease are estimated to
 exceed $100 billion a year in the United States.  Nursing home care is the
 single largest component of direct AD healthcare costs, with an annual average
 cost estimated at more than $42,000 a year (1996 dollars) per nursing home
 resident.  While Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance bear much of the
 direct cost, caregivers' expenses can still be substantial.
     "These study results support the importance of early, persistent use of
 ARICEPT(R)," said David Geldmacher, MD, director, Memory Disorders Program,
 Department of Neurology, University of Virginia.  "Many families face the
 difficult decision of placing a loved one in a nursing home as Alzheimer's
 disease progresses.  Maintaining their loved ones at home for a longer time
 can provide real social and economic benefits for these families."
     Study Details
     Data are from two cohorts of patients in a prospective, observational
 follow-up of 671 AD patients from ARICEPT(R) clinical trials for whom reason
 for and time of nursing home placement were obtained.  Patients on persistent
 treatment received ARICEPT(R) at least 9 to 12 months.  Two hundred nine
 patients received ARICEPT(R) for longer than two years.  Patients on limited
 treatment received ARICEPT(R) for six months or less.  Results were adjusted
 for other factors that may have influenced nursing home placement: baseline
 MMSE*, patient age and gender, caregiver relationship to patient (spouse:
 yes/no), caregiver continuity and reported use of other cholinesterase
 inhibitors after the clinical trials.  The median time for the persistent
 treatment group was 5.5 years versus 3.7 years for the limited treatment
     As with all studies of this type, results may be attributable to various
 factors.  ARICEPT(R) was one such factor.  Other analyses (sensitivity
 analyses) varying the length of exposure, definition of compliance (80% and
 100%) and double-blind study completion status were conducted.  These results
 are consistent with other ARICEPT(R) study findings.
     Information About ARICEPT(R) (donepezil hydrochloride tablets) Treatment
     While there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, medical treatments are
 available to manage symptoms of the disease.  Once-a-day prescription
 ARICEPT(R) is indicated for mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.
     In a progressively degenerative disease such as Alzheimer's, improvement,
 stabilization or a less-than-expected decline over time is considered a
 positive response to treatment.  These types of
 responses have been observed in patients treated with ARICEPT(R) in clinical
 trials.  Individual responses to treatment vary, and some patients may not
     ARICEPT(R) is well tolerated but may not be for everyone.  Some people may
 experience nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, vomiting, muscle cramps, fatigue, or
 loss of appetite.  In studies, these side effects were usually mild and
 temporary.  Some people taking ARICEPT(R) may experience fainting.   People at
 risk for ulcers should tell their doctors because their condition may get
     ARICEPT(R) is the number one prescribed Alzheimer's disease therapy
 worldwide, with more than 1 billion patient days of ARICEPT(R) therapy sold.
 More than 1.7 million people in the United States alone have begun ARICEPT(R)
     ARICEPT(R) is co-promoted in the United States by Eisai Inc. and Pfizer
 Inc, who are dedicated to advances in Alzheimer's therapy.
     For more information about managing Alzheimer's disease and about
 ARICEPT(R), and for prescribing information on ARCEPT(R), please call
 (888) 999-9616, or visit  Full prescribing information is
 available at the Web site.
     About Eisai Inc.
     Eisai Inc. is a U.S. pharmaceutical subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd., a
 research-based human health care company that discovers, develops and markets
 products in more than 30 countries.  Established in 1995, Eisai Inc. began
 marketing its first product in the United States in 1997 and has rapidly grown
 to become an integrated pharmaceutical business with sales of nearly $1.5
 billion in fiscal year 2002 (year ending March 31, 2003).
     Eisai Inc. employs more than 850 people at its headquarters in Teaneck,
 N.J., at its state-of-the-art pharmaceutical production and formulation
 research and development facility in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and in the
 field.  Between 1998 and 2002, Eisai Inc. moved up rapidly in the rankings of
 U.S. pharmaceutical companies (based on revenues) from No. 44 to 23.
     About Pfizer Inc
     Pfizer Inc discovers, develops, manufactures and markets leading
 prescription medicines, for humans and animals, and many of the world's
 best-known consumer products.
      * The MMSE is a brief test for measuring the cognitive state of the
        patient. The total score ranges from 0 to 30, with the higher score
        indicating a better cognitive state.

SOURCE Eisai Inc.; Pfizer Inc