FDA Approval of New Alzheimer’s Drug Sparks Controversy Over Cost, Efficacy

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 (Sebastien Bozon/AFP/Getty Images)

Alzheimer's disease affects more than 6 million people in the U.S., and there have been no  good existing treatment options.  That seemed to change earlier this month when the FDA approved a new drug called Aduhelm that claims to slow the progression of the disease.  But while some patients are celebrating the news, many scientists say the drug will deliver marginal, or even no, benefits and that it could have risky side effects.   And at a cost of $56,000 annually per patient, some members of the U.S. Senate are calling for an investigation into how the drug will affect the Medicare program.  We discuss the controversy around the FDA’s approval of Aduhelm and we’ll get an update on Alzheimer’s research. 

Tradeoffs podcast: The Aducanumab Aftermath

Combined FDA and Applicant PCNS Drugs Advisory Committee Briefing Document


Dan Gorenstein, host, executive producer, Tradeoffs

Dr. Michael Greicius, professor, Department of Neurology, Stanford University School of Medicine; medical director, Stanford Center for Memory Disorders

Libby Brittain, caregiver for her mother who has alzheimers