(WTVO) — Monday, we told you the FDA approved the first new Alzheimer’s drug in nearly two decades. While parts of the medical world praised the announcement, others say the green light may have come too soon.
But a local man whose family has been hit hard by the disease tells us the drug is a sign of progress.
“I think it’s really the first step in really a total transformation of how we as a society see this disease,” said Richard Apple.
Biogen has received FDA approval for its newest Alzheimer’s drug. Richard Apple has lost seven family members to the disease, including his mother. He’s been a part of clinical trials, knowing the disease could impact him.
Apple says he would advised his mother try this medication.
“It gives me confidence that if my mom was in the early stage right now, I would not hesitate to strongly recommend this to her,” said Apple.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, over 6 million people across the US are living with the disease. The Chief Medical Officer at Saint Anthony Medical Center, Dr. Stephen Bartlett, says this new drug is innovative.
“This drug is innovative because it’s the first one to deal with the pathologic problem going on in the brain,” said Dr. Bartell.
Apple understands the skepticism some have towards the new medication but remains optimistic knowing there is treatment available.
“It gives a sense of hope. It gives a sense that there is a purpose for getting a diagnosis and for pursuing this aggressively,” he added.
Biogen plans to begin shipping millions of doses of the new drug within the next two weeks.