Alzheimer's and Mild Cognitive Impairment

Aduhelm (aducanumab-avwa) was approved by the FDA on June 7, 2021; this monoclonal antibody is now available for people with mild Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease. Biogen, Aduhelm’s manufacturer, and their co-marketing partner Eisai, began a disease awareness campaign focused on Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) about a month before Aduhelm’s approval. Selling disease is a good way to sell a drug, and PharmedOut will continue to monitor marketing tactics for Alzheimer’s drugs. Be sure to check this site regularly!

On this page you'll find: 

Do We All Have Alzheimer's?

Dr. Susan Molchan and Dr. Peter Whitehouse had a lively discussion about Alzheimer's Disease, drugs that target beta amyloid, and how research funding has primarily focused on amyloid. 

 Journal Article

Dr. Susan Molchan and Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman's article takes a critical look at the new monoclonal antibodies directed toward amyloid for Alzheimer’s Disease.


PharmedOut Fact Sheets

Healthcare providers, feel free to download and distribute these fact sheets to patients considering Aduhelm. 

Letter to the Alliance for Aging Research 

PharmedOut’s letter to members of the Alliance for Aging Research’s Scientific Advisory Board urged them to resign over the organization’s support of Aduhelm (aducanumab). Over 50 physicians, researchers and advocates co-signed the letter.

Nine of the 17 members resigned covered in an article by Ed Silverman in STAT; subsequently, the Alliance dissolved the Board….  

Click here to see the letter.

Letter to the Medical and Scientific Advisory Group of the Alzheimer's Association

A similar letter was sent to the Alzheimer’s Association’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Group, urging the seven advisory group members to resign over the Alzheimer’s Association support of Aduhelm. All seven ignored several communications until we stated that we were making the letter public.

That elicited a group response, which stated, “We are committed to the millions of people who suffer from the devastating impacts of Alzheimer's and all other dementia and  remain firmly committed to our important role as members of this scientific advisory group.”

Click here to see the letter.

Public Comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

On July 22, 2021, Dr. Fugh-Berman and Patricia Bencivenga testified before the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) National Coverage Determination Analysis on treatment for Alzheimer's Disease. Their comments can be downloaded here or viewed on CMS' National Coverage Analysis page.

After CMS gave their preliminary coverage decision regarding drugs like Aduhelm on January 11, 2022, PharmedOut submitted another comment to support CMS. It can be downloaded here or viewed on CMS' National Coverage Analysis page

The Truth About Mild Cognitive Impairment

Additional Resources

"The Myth of Alzheimer's" by Peter J. Whitehouse MD, PhD will change the way you think and talk about Alzheimer's Disease. It is a wonderful read that clarifies the processes behind brain aging, and gives recommendations for how to best care for loved ones who are affected by Alzheimer's. 

"A $55,000 drug that doesn't cure Alzheimer's" on Vox is a 30-minute podcast episode that gives a great overview of the Aduhelm controversy. It is available on Spotify, Apple podcasts, and Stitcher