A new drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s has been approved by the US FDA, despite the protests of many researchers who feel it doesn’t really
The US Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the use of the experimental drug aducanumab for early phases of Alzheimer’s disease — despite an FDA advisory committee concluding last year that there is not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of the treatment.
The drug was developed for patients with mild cognitive impairment, not severe dementia, and intended to slow progression of Alzheimer’s disease — not just ease symptoms.
The FDA has not approved a novel therapy for Alzheimer’s disease since 2003.
In that quote, you have the crux of the dispute. It’s the first new drug approved for Alzheimer’s in almost 20 years, but since it’s only effective against mild- to moderate cognitive decline, it’s real effectiveness as a treatment is in doubt. The study of the drug continues, but it’s lack of major side effects combined with the lack of other effective treatments for the disease led the FDA to approve it, even with an effectiveness rate below what is considered the baseline for approval. Doctors can prescribe the drug starting today, but it has a very high price tag: between $2,560 to $8,290 per year.
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