Re: “The benefits and risks of the new Alzheimer’s drug” [June 16, Opinion]: UW Drs. Thomas J. Grabowski and Charles Bernick make compelling points in their support for Biogen’s new drug aducanumab, to help in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. No one would disagree that Alzheimer’s is a truly awful, horrifying disease and indeed, Biogen’s new offering may indeed prove to be a real game changer.
But as of yet, the data are not clear. They mention the hesitancy with which this drug received its approval, but there is no mention of the three FDA advisory panel members who resigned their positions; such was their alarm at the green light for a drug that raised multiple, serious concerns.
This drug is already ringing bells of alarm across many spectrums – in addition to the side effects, there is the staggeringly high cost, just for the drug itself, and its administration, which requires an infusion. I see no mention of the multiple brain scans patients will be required to have as they undertake this treatment. We are already failing to deliver basic health care services to millions of Americans. It seems cruel to dangle such an iffy promise of hope to desperate people, all while saddling many of them with massive medical debt.
Diane Chakravarty, Auburn