On behalf of those impacted by Alzheimer's, the Alzheimer's Association welcomes the FDA's accelerated approval of aducanumab (Aduhelm™), the first treatment approved for the disease since 2003 and the first to address its underlying biology.
Importance of early detection
Early detection and an accurate diagnosis have long demonstrated better health outcomes for individuals and their caregivers, and are even more critical with the FDA’s approval of this new therapy.
An early and accurate diagnosis:
- Improves compliance and prevents complications related to treatment among older adults with comorbid conditions.
- Provides individuals living with the disease and their families opportunities to better manage medications; consider this new treatment; build a care team; receive counseling and other support services; create advance directives; and address driving and safety concerns.
- Allows you to more effectively manage the cost of care by modifying treatment with knowledge of a patient’s cognitive impairment, resulting in more cost effective management and improved patient adherence, potentially preventing or reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency department visits.
Learn more about: Cognitive assessment, Dementia diagnosis, Care Planning, and Management.
Access additional treatment information and resources for clinicians.
Eliminating barriers to access is our highest priority. The Alzheimer’s Association will do everything in its power to ensure access to the drug, any tests needed during the treatment process, and other associated costs for all who will benefit. It is more vital than ever that health systems and clinicians prioritize early detection and access as well.
We will also continue to lead the global research enterprise and to educate, support and advocate for access to diagnostics and appropriate treatments as soon as they become available.
We must ensure that all individuals living with Alzheimer's, at every stage of the disease, receive high quality comprehensive care, including access to appropriate medications, care planning, management and coordination. This treatment may be a complement to comprehensive care, when appropriate.
The Alzheimer’s Association has made it a priority to partner with health care systems, physicians and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to ensure early and accurate diagnosis, and access to appropriate treatment, care management and care planning.
This will include:
- Resources and education for health systems and physicians around diagnosis, treatment and care management.
- Ensuring proper care in the present and in the future, such as helping manage multiple doctors, as well as finding and using community support services.
- Calling on CMS to expand the availability of dementia care services under Medicare.
The Alzheimer’s Association offers a variety of resources that can help your patients and caregivers cope and live with a dementia diagnosis. Share these resources with them when they visit:
Working with your health system
As a leader in dementia care and a trusted resource by all those affected, the Alzheimer’s Association is here to support your health system as you manage an increasing number of patients with dementia. Contact our Health Systems Directors, subject matter experts who can help you develop customized strategies to meet your needs and improve outcomes for all affected. Email HCPServices@alz.org with your location to connect with your regional Health Systems Director today.