FDA approves Alzheimer’s drug

FDA approves Alzheimer’s drug
Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 11:27 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The Food and Drug Administration approved a drug to treat early-stage Alzheimer’s on Friday. Lecanemab, which will be marketed as Leqembi, is an antibody infusion treatment that has been demonstrated to slow cognitive decline and dementia symptom progression.

“Just the possibility of having more time for individuals who are in the early stages of this disease is such a blessing,” said Mackenzie Wallace of the Alzheimer’s Association. “While it’s not a cure, it is a treatment, and that’s something that we haven’t really had in two decades.”

The treatment is only used for early cases, and it won’t stop progression completely, but Wallace said that its mere existence is a good sign for the future.

“ [For] individuals who are in the early stages, this is a big source of hope for them,” she said. “I think this also should give everyone hope in the sense that the research is starting to work and is starting to provide results.”

She said another hurdle is healthcare coverage of the drug. Leqembi still isn’t covered by insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.

Wallace said it’s a top priority of the Alzheimer’s Association to lobby and make sure people won’t have to pay for the drug out of pocket.