The Food and Drug Administration on Friday put its stamp of approval on a new drug that promises to slow the effects of Alzheimer’s.
The drug, lecanemab, has been proven to reduce the speed of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients in a November study, says manufacturer Biogen, which is producing the drug with a Japanese partner. However, it carries risks of brain swelling and bleeding, the pharmaceutical company reports. “This treatment option is the latest therapy to target and affect the underlying disease process of Alzheimer’s, instead of only treating the symptoms of the disease,” says Dr. Billy Dunn, director of the FDA’s neuroscience division.
The drug, which will be sold under the name Legembi, won’t be cheap. Treatment will cost about $26,500 a year, according to Biogen.
Why does the government allow pharmaceutical companies to overcharge for important medications?