Two important Alzheimer’s research organizations, Researchers Against Alzheimer’s (RA2) and Us Against Alzheimer’s (UsA2), will host an Alzheimer’s Talks Teleconference on April 11 to discuss recently released findings of an analysis of late-stage drug candidates to treat the disease.
Significant findings in the analysis, released in March, include:
- There are 17 drugs in late-stage development (Phase 3 clinical trials), with the potential to be launched in the next five years
- To prepare for the market release of one if not more of these drugs, the American healthcare system needs to make significant improvements in the following five areas:
- Enhancing the training and numbers of front-line physicians, including in primary care, to diagnose and treat Alzheimer’s
- Improving the accuracy of diagnosis
- Improving communication between patients and physicians
- Treating Alzheimer’s as a fatal disease and improving patient access to clinical care (average wait time for a neurologist visit is now 35 days)
- Addressing payment and reimbursement (Currently, there is no assurance that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) or other national health payment authorities and insurance providers will pay for or reimburse for Alzheimer’s treatments.)
In a UsA2 press release about the findings, George Vradenburg, co-founder and chairman of UsA2, said: “Alzheimer’s disease must be attacked at the scope and scale equal to the challenge. Alzheimer’s is a cancer-size problem requiring a cancer-size solution. Our mission is to stop Alzheimer’s by 2020. Our work has focused on disrupting business as usual – increasing research resources, speeding drug development and assuring access of innovative medicines to those with or at risk of the disease. Should drugs in late-stage development prove successful; insurers and physicians will need to step up their game.”
Dr. David Morgan, a distinguished professor of the College of Medicine and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida, CEO of the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute, and a founding member of RA2, added: “Despite the recent history of disappointment for Alzheimer’s disease advancements, we are cautiously optimistic about the progress of this next wave of innovation because we are seeing well-funded trials and concerted efforts to learn from past failures. The analysis confirms that while there is a promising pipeline for Alzheimer’s patients, we must, in parallel, be encouraging more physicians to accurately diagnose and treat this disease, and work with insurers to enable access for patients to these new drugs when they are available.”
The upcoming Alzheimer’s Talks Teleconference will take place from 4–5 p.m. (EST) and will be live-streamed, with planned remarks from Vradenburg, Morgan, and the RA2 director, Drew Holzapfel. For more information, visit the following link.