The first drug promising to slow the memory-robbing march of Alzheimer’s disease was approved by U.S. health regulators, a watershed after years of research and billions of dollars in investment.
Its sale offers hope to millions of people dealing with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, given the lack of good options for treatment. Yet the impact of the drug, which has the molecular name aducanumab, may be limited. Doctors who say they will prescribe the drug caution it won’t help all patients, particularly those with more advanced disease. Some patients eligible for treatment may face $10,000 or more in annual out-of-pocket costs, health insurer Cigna Corp. estimates.