17 Jun ALZHEIMER’S DRUG APPROVAL BRINGS HOPE
The FDA has recently approved the medication Aducanumab (which is to be given by infusion every four weeks) that studies have shown to slow the decline of cognitive and functional ability of patients (particularly if in the early stages after a diagnosis or those with mild dementia) with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Although this is not a cure and researchers are uncertain as to what causes Alzheimer’s, the approval of this drug (developed by Biogen & Eisai) is a baby step in the ultimate goal of a world without Alzheimer’s.
The drug approval is not without its critics, and the FDA conditioned approval by requiring Biogen to conduct another study to verify its benefits for patients (otherwise approval could be rescinded). Approval was based on studies that showed that the drug reduced plaque (called beta amyloid) from the brain.
The drug should be available in two weeks but is costly ($56,000 a year is the initial estimate). However, most insurers (including Medicare) are likely to grant coverage.
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