How a Questionable Drug Turned into a Goldmine at Taxpayers’ Expense

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Posted: Jun 10, 2021 12:01 AM

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On June 7th the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug to treat early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Or perhaps I should say a drug intended to treat early-stage Alzheimer’s was approved for any of the 6 million people with the disease. Presumably, nearly all those with Alzheimer’s – or their families – will demand this new drug whether they are likely to benefit.

The drug, Aduhelm, is a monoclonal antibody. It targets a specific protein in the brain that is thought to form plaques in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, causing brain cells to atrophy and die. 

Is this good news for patients suffering with Alzheimer’s disease? Probably not and certainly not for taxpayers. The clinical trial data found little evidence the drug works. One Phase 3 clinical trial showed a slight slowing in cognitive decline, while the second clinical trial failed to show any improvement. 

Lon Schneider, M.D. helped conduct one of the clinical trials. He told the New York Times, “There’s so little

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