Alzheimer's Society respond to FDA decision on Alzheimer's drug lecanemab
The Food and Drug Administration has today approved lecanemab, a new drug for Alzheimer's disease, for use across the US.
Dr Richard Oakley, Associate Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, said:
Lecanemab is now the second drug aiming to slow down Alzheimer’s disease to be approved in the US, another step forward in the generation of new treatments for one of the biggest global health challenges.
'We’re proud that Alzheimer’s Society funded research by Professor Sir John Hardy over thirty years ago, identifying amyloid as a key player in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, has led to this moment today.
'People affected by Alzheimer's disease in the UK will be wondering what this means for them - particularly given European regulators did not approve aducanumab which was also approved in the US. There are still many hurdles before lecanemab could be available on the NHS. We need the regulatory authorities in Europe and the UK to prioritise a rigorous, independent review of the lecanemab data, and for NICE to prepare to evaluate its cost-effectiveness.
'Frustratingly it is possible that lecanemab could be approved in the UK without a system in place to get it to people who need it most. The upcoming ten-year plan for dementia must prioritise boosting stagnant dementia diagnosis rates and preparing the NHS to deliver and monitor the impact of these drugs.
Preparation is crucial not just in the short term for the potential arrival of lecanemab, but for the future as 117 other disease slowing drugs are currently being tested in trials.
'The promised doubling of dementia research funding through the National Dementia Mission must be streamlined into new ways to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease earlier, new treatments and also research into other types of dementia, to give hope for everyone living with dementia now and in the future.
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