I cannot even express how this frustrates me. Sure, let’s bankrupt Medicare to fund a drug that has not been shown to affect the course of the disease it is supposed to be treating. As if we don’t have enough problems with access to medical care as is, let’s make it worse.
It will place huge pressure on health systems the world over as patients groups pressurise governments to make our national health systems pay for this. And if they don’t we’ll see a gofundme system like you have in the US.
There isn’t disagreement on whether its effective, they voted 0-10:
The FDA’s advisory committee on neurological therapies voted the data did not demonstrate the drug was clinically effective. The vote was all but unanimous, with zero in favor, 10 nays, and one uncertain. They raised concerns about potential side effects, such as brain swelling in patients who were given high doses.
Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni is director of the drug approval committee and highest authority for approval (her oficial statement is below).
and yes she was hired under trump
I have not seen that written about, I suspect it is more “we need to do something,” but I think this is the wrong something, or at least not sufficiently proven to warrant the $60k/yr. But it certainly smell like that.
Fun! We can bankrupt Medicare while we bankrupt the folks who are getting the drug, while also bankrupting the folks who are not getting the drug! Profit!
There is a conspiracy theory part of my brain that wonders if this is a right wing plot to eliminate government funded healthcare. If I thought they were competent enough to pull it off, I might even believe it.
The FDA approved this drug not because of any evidence of cognitive improvement in the trials (which they admitted was lacking) but instead based their decision solely on the fact that the drug appears to reduce the concentration of amyloid beta in the brain.
This case is emblematic of a serious problem with the dominant business strategy in the pharmaceutical industry right now: A measurable biomarker is identified that is shown to be associated with (not necessarily causative of) a disease. So the pharma industry gets to work coming up with a drug that addresses that biomarker. If the drug is successful in manipulating the measured levels of the biomarker, they assume it must also be helping to mitigate the disease. But that’s kinda like if your car is suffering electrical problems due to the family of squirrels living under the hood and chewing up the wires. Vacuuming up the visible droppings that indicate the presence of squirrels doesn’t necessarily get to the root of the problem.