Latest estimate of people living with Alzheimer's is up to 5 million. Meanwhile as Steve Usdin's excellent piece in Biocentury demonstrates, the FDA Modernization Act of 1997 has done nothing to accelerate the pace of bringing new drugs to people.
Which is why the FDA pushed for Critical Path
Meanwhile Congress ignores the growing Alzheimer problem. Indeed, it seems determined to make it worse. It fiddles with making the FDA decision making process longer and more expensive and so-called medical experts flush with money from junk science litigation about silicone breast implants (defendscience.org) claim that user fees have made more people less safe. (Without any evidence to back it up, but what else is new?) These same people also want follow on biologics to flow like tap water free from the same safety standards they would impose on old medicines.
On a related subject,even if a new drug for Alzheimer's was approved and it cost $10000 a year to stave off onset by 1-3 years, my guess is that the media would question whether medicines that don't cure such a disease are worth it. Don't believe me? Just look at the piece of garbage Daniel Costello of the LA Times wrote about cancer drugs this past Sunday. He basically asked if 3 months of life is worth $40k?
Let him cut short his own life and family to save some cash before he makes that decision for society.
By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer Tue Mar 20, 6:51 AM ET
WASHINGTON - More than 5 million Americans are living with
Alzheimer's disease, a 10 percent increase since the last Alzheimer's Association estimate five years ago â€” and a count that supports the long-forecast dementia epidemic as the population grays.
Age is the biggest risk factor, and the report to be released Tuesday shows the nation is on track for skyrocketing Alzheimer's once the baby boomers start turning 65 in 2011. Already, one in eight people 65 and older have the mind-destroying illness, and nearly one in two people over 85.
Unless scientists discover a way to delay Alzheimer's brain attack, some 7.7 million people are expected to have the disease by 2030, the report says. By 2050, that toll could reach 16 million.