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The future of Alzheimer’s treatment is here

The approval of the drug aducanumab on June 7 by the Food & Drug Administration marked a new phase in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

 

Aducanumab, known by its brand name of Aduhelm, is the first drug shown to slow – but not cure – Alzheimer’s disease and is the beginning of a completely new future for Alzheimer’s treatments. Historically, the first drug in a category invigorates the field, increases investments in new treatments and encourages greater innovation.

 

On June 16 the first patient outside of a clinical trial received the drug.  A 70-year-old Rhode Island man had an Aduhelm infusion at a medical facility.

 

Aduhelm works by removing amyloid from the brain. Amyloid is the protein that clumps into sticky brain plaques that are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.  Aduhelm is administered intravenously (IV) via a 45- to 60-minute infusion every four weeks.

 

There has been much said of the cost for this drug.  The maker, Biogen, says it will be priced at $56,000 per year.  The Alzheimer’s Association

believes this amount is simply unacceptable. For many, this price will pose an insurmountable barrier to access, it complicates and jeopardizes sustainable access to this treatment, and may further deepen issues of health equity. The Association calls on Biogen to change this price.

 

We’re happy to have this new tool in the fight against Alzheimer’s.  If you or a loved one is experiencing memory changes, the Alzheimer’s Association strongly encourages speaking with a health care provider for a thorough evaluation, diagnosis and to discuss treatment options.  Visit us at alz.org or call our 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900.

 

 

The Alzheimer’s Association leads the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia – by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. Visit alz.org or call 800-272-3900.

 

Scott Finley is media relations manager for the Alzheimer’s Association®.  He can be reached at scfinley@alz.org