“When searching for new medicines, one breakthrough can be the foundation that triggers future medicines to be developed,” Christopher A. Viehbacher, Biogen’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “ADUHELM was that groundbreaking discovery that paved the way for a new class of drugs and reinvigorated investments in the field.”
While Aduhelm and Leqembi were applauded as breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s care, their clinical trials showed modest benefits for patients — along with potentially dangerous side effects like brain bleeding and swelling.
Medicare has limited coverage of Alzheimer’s drugs with accelerated approval to only patients participating in a randomized clinical trial, of which none were enrolling. Both Aduhelm and Leqembi have price tags exceeding $25,000 a year, making access challenging.
An FDA spokesperson said patients currently on Aduhelm can continue treatment until Nov. 1 and should discuss options with their providers.