In Push to Detect Early Alzheimer’s Markers, Hopes for PreventionAUGUST 5, 2010
The New York Times asks whether Alzheimer's disease, a terrible degenerative brain disease with no treatments and no clear guidelines for diagnosis before its end stages, will become like heart disease? That is the hope behind new diagnostic guidelines being proposed by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association. But, said Dr. Jason Karlawish, MD, associate director of the Penn Memory Center and associate professor of Geriatric Medicine and Medical Ethics, it is not unreasonable to worry about the role of drug companies. "They are driven by profits over progress and by trying to move a drug as fast as they can into the clinic without getting all the good evidence they need," Dr. Karlawish said. The challenge, he said, is to avoid a rush to approve drugs that are not truly effective and to find a way to keep prices reasonable.