The New Alzheimer’s Drug Aducanumab (Aduhelm®): Noteworthy on Many Levels
The latest buzz in medicine came this week when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new medication for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. The monoclonal antibody generically known as aducanumab has the brand name of Aduhelm®. Its approval is noteworthy for several reasons:
- It is the first drug approved for treating Alzheimer’s since 2003;
- It works in a totally different manner than the existing 2 classes of dementia drugs; and
- Its approval is highly controversial for reasons I will highlight below.
Alzheimer’s Disease impacts over 6 million patients and millions of unpaid family caregivers. It is a progressive disease that causes irreversible decline in cognitive and day-to-day physical functioning. It is understandable to be excited about the potential surrounding this new drug therapy. But this drug has a unique situation. Here are the main issues that will help you get a better sense of the value and controversy behind the drug Aduhelm.