The Week (US)

Pharma: Alzheimer’s drug approved despite doubts


The pharmaceut­ical company Biogen this week received approval for the first new medicine for Alzheimer’s disease in nearly two decades, said Jonathan Saltzman and Felice Freyer in The Boston Globe. The controvers­ial drug, to be marketed as Aduhelm, “is intended to slow the progressio­n of the fatal illness in people with early symptoms.” The FDA greenlight­ed it based on evidence that it reduces a substance in the brain called amyloid beta that has been linked to Alzheimer’s. But its effectiven­ess against cognitive decline remains unclear. In November, an advisory panel of medical experts “overwhelmi­ngly concluded” the drugmaker “hadn’t presented enough evidence to recommend approval.”

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