DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Alzheimer’s is a disease that can disrupt the daily living routine for anyone, but the FDA recently took steps to approve a new drug for treating it.
The Miami Valley Alzheimer’s Association sat down with 2 NEWS to speak on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of a treatment drug for the disease and community resources available.
The Executive Director of Miami Valley Alzheimer’s Association, Annemarie Barnett, discussed the new drug approved, Lecanemab, is a treatment and not a prevention drug.
“It is not a prevention, it’s a treatment that will slow the progression of the disease down in certain people that are in the very early stages of Alzheimer’s,” Barnett said.
Miami Valley Alzheimer’s Association says they are very excited to have the drug approved because it offers a possibility for people to interact with their loved ones for a longer period of time.
Barnett said, “We’re really excited. It’s giving people more time. It’s giving more time to remember their spouses and their children and make decisions for themselves, so we’re really thrilled to have this.”
Lecanemab isn’t the first Alzheimer’s drug approved by the FDA. Barnett says Aduhelm was approved by the FDA first, opening the door for the next generations of drugs to follow, including Lecanemab.
However, a department within the federal government has to reverse their stance on coverage for the treatment for Alzheimer’s. The association is asking for the public to reach out to their leaders to request the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare change their decision to allow more access to the drug for the public.
According to Barnett, the treatment drug Lecanemab is not covered by the governmental organization.
“Talk to your legislators. Please spread the word that we need this drug covered, because we need to be able to give folks more time.”
A helpline is available for those caring for someone with the disease. The free helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1(800) 272-3900.
By calling the 800 number, it will connect you to licensed social workers to help answer any questions or concerns you may have about a loved one.
The association also offers “family care consultations”, where people can speak with a local social worker to go over any diagnoses of the disease.
“All of our programs and services are completely free of charge. You’re not going to get charged for the 800 number or a family care consultation or coming to a program to learn about Alzheimer’s. We are not going to charge people for that.”
If you would like to learn more about the Miami Valley Alzheimer’s Association, click here.