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FDA Approves New Alzheimer’s Drug From Biogen

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Memory loss due to dementia. Senior man losing parts of head as symbol of decreased mind function | FDA Approves New Alzheimer’s Drug From Biogen | featured

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug. This latest application comes 20 years after the last time an Alzheimer’s drug sought approval. As a result, the market cheered on the new drug and sent Biogen’s stock surging more than 38%. 

RELATED: 7 Blockbuster Drugs Expected To Be Launched In 2020

Aduhelm Is The New Alzheimer’s Drug

Biogen’s newly-approved therapy carries the molecular name aducanumab. In addition, the company will market the drug as Aduhelm. Biogen spent billions in development and will finally realize the fruits of its labor. It hopes to do what previous Alzheimer’s drugs can’t: slow down the failing memory of patients. 

Meanwhile, the FDA explained its approval for Aduhelm. The agency said that the drug reduces amyloids in the brain. These amyloids are sticky substances that cover brain cells. Both the FDA and Biogen agree that a reduction in amyloids can provide relief for sufferers. 

Aduhelm’s Limited Impact

Aduhelm’s approval brings potential hope to millions of people suffering from Alzheimer’s, especially given the lack of options. However, many experts are still warning against expecting too much from the drug.

In fact, some doctors say the drug’s efficacy remains limited and recommended against its approval. Meanwhile, other doctors say that the drug can’t help all patients, especially those already in advanced stages of the disease. 

In addition, patients should expect out-of-pocket expenses when availing of the drug. Health insurer Cigna estimates treatment can require $10,000 co-pays annually. 

Despite the issues, the drug Aduhelm remains a potential blockbuster. Biogen is currently struggling as it experiences declining sales for its drugs.

In addition, it is about to lose its patent protection for its bestseller, Tecfidera. This is a pill used to treat multiple sclerosis. The company expects modest sales during their Alzheimer’s drug launch year but will pick up as it gains recognition.

FactSet places estimates at sales of $62.7 million in 2021, $603.2 million in 2022, and $1.6 billion by 2023. 

$56,000 Treatment Per Year Patient

Meanwhile, Biogen Chief Executive Michel Vounatsos hailed the FDA approval. “This historic moment is the culmination of more than a decade of groundbreaking research in the complex field of Alzheimer’s disease.

Together with the healthcare community, we are ready to bring this new medicine to patients and begin to address this growing global health crisis.”

Biogen is initially placing the price of treatment at $56,000 a year per patient. The price range can take many patients off the market due to affordability issues.

However, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, a nonprofit research and advisory group, said the drug can remain cost-effective at a per-patient price of $2,500 to $8,300 a year. 

6 Million Americans Suffer From Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a progressive degenerative disease that affects mainly the elderly. Among its devastating side effects is that it slowly erases people of their memory, including the ability to care for themselves.

In the US, 6 million suffer from Alzheimer’s, with 1.4 million eligible to take Adulhelm. In 2019, around 121,500 Americans died from Alzheimer’s, which is 54% higher than numbers a decade ago.

Watch the Bloomberg Markets and FInance video report that the FDA gave the green light to Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug:

Will you get Aduhelm for your loved ones if they suffered from Alzheimer’s?

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Do you have a loved one who has Alzheimer’s? Will you get an Aduhelm prescription for your loved one? Also, At $56,000 per annum, do you find the cost of an Alzheimer’s drug prohibitive?

Let us know what you think about Aduhelm. Share your comments in the comment section below.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  • Avatar Jimmy R Young says:

    This drug is a start. This is something that effects everyone in one way or another. It should be a national need. More research is needed. So stop sending money to China and helping them develop bio-weapons. Spend money on US research.

  • Avatar Esther says:

    Yes, I do have family members who have been diagnosed w this terrible debilitating illness. One of which was a doctor. This drug like any drug helping to relieve the symptoms, are great, but, extremely expensive. Most folks just can’t afford the payments. It would be awesome if these billionaire companies would just bring down costs to reasonable affordable prices. Especially for the elderly that live on SS. In summary I would hope that folks suffering w this illness put their trust in God’s hands for now. Come on guys. Man up do what’s right for your fellowman!

  • Avatar Maggie White says:

    Affordability will be the issue for most families!

  • Avatar CM says:

    Maybe forgetting all the horrible things of this world can actually better than remembering them. My grandmother had Alzheimer’s and the only people that appeared to be suffering were her caregivers. She was happy living in the moment until she passed away. She’d had a horrible childhood that haunted her most of her life and the disease gave her some relief. Regardless if you prefer to remember or forget, this drug is too expensive for real people to afford anyway.

  • Avatar Beverly Harvey says:

    Cost will keep this from most Americans. Drug companies get rich on this, very sad.

  • Avatar Wendy Phillips says:

    We had Alzheimers in our family and it is a devastating disease. Unfortunately, a drug that will cost upwards of 50k per year will only be an option for those select few that are financially able to afford it.

  • Avatar Chas says:

    This is more expensive that most people’s pensions… Development a drug, and put it to market, that most Tax paying Americans can’t afford! Terrible! Get the drug, then forget to pay the drug companies! That will work! Bastards!!!! To have to watch a person to go through life with such a terrible illness the durg companies oughta be shameless… It’s all about the money in the end no matter what! What am awful thing to teach our children!!!

  • Avatar Sandra says:

    No drug for Alzheimer disease is effective in a cure. There is no cure!. There are only 3 approved and are only attempts to slow the progression. If you have a diagnosis very early these drugs may work. But people do desperate things and we only hope that it will work for our loved one. It has taken 20 years to develop a FDA approved ALZ drug but yet we can go to the nearest doc in the box for an experimental shot that was ‘developed’ in 10 months for a bioweopon virus made in a lab! Pathetic

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