CHICAGO, June 22, 2021
— Yesterday, the leading voices in the Alzheimer’s and dementia scientific community underscored the Alzheimer’s Association’s consistent position that Aduhelm™ (aducanumab) be made available specifically to the population represented in the clinical trials where there is evidence of clinical benefit — people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to Alzheimer’s disease and early Alzheimer’s dementia.
During the meeting (Dialogue: Current Perspectives on Aducanumab)
, convened by the Alzheimer’s Association, experts discussed the path forward for the treatment following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval.
The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to ensuring that individuals living with MCI due to Alzheimer’s and early stage Alzheimer’s dementia are able to access this treatment. This treatment is not appropriate for people in all stages of Alzheimer’s. We must continue to diversify the treatment pipeline to address this devastating disease at all stages through multiple pathways and for all communities, as we have with other major diseases.
The FDA approval of Aduhelm is the first treatment for Alzheimer’s disease since 2003 and the first to address the underlying biology of Alzheimer’s. This approval begins a new era in Alzheimer’s treatment and research where the same progress we have witnessed in combating many other major diseases may finally develop for the millions now facing Alzheimer’s, a terminal disease. History has shown us that approvals of the first drug in a new category will invigorate the field, increase investments in new treatments and generate greater innovation.
During her welcome remarks, Alzheimer’s Association chief science officer, Maria C. Carrillo, Ph.D., noted the price announced by the manufacturer will pose an insurmountable barrier to access, complicate and jeopardize sustainable access to this treatment, and may further deepen issues of health equity. She once again underscored the Association’s position that the announced price is simply unacceptable.
As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) considers next steps, the Alzheimer’s Association is committed to working with them — and the private payer community — to expedite access for the appropriate population, which has such significant need. CMS faces difficult policy decisions on how to best accomplish this within the context of the Medicare program, and the Alzheimer's Association stands ready to fully support CMS and private payers in this work for all communities in need.
The Alzheimer's Association leads the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia®. For more information, visit www.alz.org or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.