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Why is the first drug proven to slow Alzheimer’s progress facing a sluggish start?



It's the first drug shown to slow Alzheimer's. Why is is it off to a slow start?, ET HealthWorld

The first drug to slow Alzheimer’s disease, Leqembi, has been on the U.S. market for over a year, but sales have been slow, and major hospital systems have been slow to adopt it. Insurers have also been rejecting coverage for the drug. Leqembi targets the sticky brain protein amyloid, a key indicator of Alzheimer’s, and has shown to delay the progression of the disease by a few months in patients with mild symptoms. However, the subtle delay may not be noticeable to patients, and the drug comes with potential side effects like brain swelling and bleeding.

Doctors are excited about the potential of Leqembi, but believe that it will take years to learn how to best deploy the drug. While the FDA approved Leqembi for early-stage Alzheimer’s patients last summer, the process of setting up systems for delivering the drug has been slower than expected for hospital systems. Patients also need regular brain scans to monitor for side effects, adding to the complexity of treatment.

Some patients have experienced insurance denials for Leqembi, delaying their treatment. However, efforts are being made to improve access to the drug, with plans to seek approval for an injectable version that would be easier to use. Researchers are also exploring blood tests to speed up amyloid detection. Despite these advancements, there is still much to learn about Alzheimer’s, and many believe that combination treatments will be necessary to effectively treat the disease.

In conclusion, while Leqembi offers hope for Alzheimer’s patients, there are still challenges to overcome in terms of coverage, treatment access, and understanding the complex nature of the disease. Continued research and collaboration will be key in finding effective treatments for Alzheimer’s patients.

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