It has been announced in the press over recent days that a new drug to combat Alzheimers has been approved in America. It is the first to be approved in over 20 years, and it is the only one on the market believed to slow down the disease. The drug is manufactured by Biogen and will be marketed as “Adulem”. It is claimed it reduces proteins in the brain which cause Alzheimers and reduces cognitive decline by 22%. The drug is delivered by intravenous infusion and sites will be made available to do this throughout America.
The drug is not without its critics. Some believe it is not effective, or not as effective as is claimed. If it does prove ineffective the licence can be removed by the regulator. A major worry is that elderly people spent $56,000 on a course of treatment only to find out it does not work. However, others say it will lead to further research and improvements.
Independent Living Owner (Mark Booker) commented “we care for people with memory loss and it is a devastating illness. Over the 10 years we have been been in the care sector their is no doubt the number of the people with the disease is growing – probably due to an ageing population. Anything which gives people realistic hope must the welcomed. Clearly the price of Adulem is high and it needs to come down if it is to be accessible to everyone who could benefit”.