New Alzheimer's drug Aducanumab - cost, side effects, timeline and other questions answered

June 10, 2021 at 00:36

(CNN) Patients and their families are starting to inquire about the new Alzheimer's drug approved this week by the US Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA has not approved a novel therapy for Alzheimer's disease since 2003.
"What's really exciting is that aducanumab is the first new FDA-approved Alzheimer's treatment in nearly 20 years, and we're optimistic this will spark a wave of new research and innovation in this space.
For now, here are some basic questions patients and their families might have about aducanumab, answered by doctors from across the United States.
Aducanumab is approved for patients with Alzheimer's disease.
"The FDA authorization of Aduhelm is fairly broad, indicating it is for Alzheimer's disease as a whole," Aburashed said.
So, "the clinical development program targeted early mild cognitive impairment and mild cases of Alzheimer's disease as opposed to more progressive cases," Aburashed said.
JUST WATCHED Why the newest Alzheimer's drug is controversial Replay More Videos ... MUST WATCH Why the newest Alzheimer's drug is controversial 02:10In March 2019, two Phase 3 clinical trials of aducanumab were discontinued because a futility analysis found the trials were unlikely to meet their primary goals at completion.
"This is not a 'shotgun' approach to all Alzheimer's patients and careful consideration of individual patient characteristics and risk tolerance is imperative.
A physician might also consider conducting PET scans to determine whether a patient has mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease.
What other treatments are available for Alzheimer's disease?
While aducanumab may be the first of its kind, other drugs to help manage symptoms of Alzheimer's disease have been in use for a while.