Biogen to cease production of controversial Alzheimer’s drug

“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.