Feb 11, 2020 - Health

Another setback for an experimental Alzheimer's drug

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new study found that experimental drugs made by Eli Lilly and Roche didn't help people with a rare, inherited form of Alzheimer's, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Alzheimer's is a devastating disease, and drug after drug keeps failing to do more than temporarily alleviate its symptoms.

Yes, but: The prevalence of the disease, combined with how it has become somewhat of a holy grail for drugmakers, means that the industry has far from given up on it.

  • Last year, 405 drugs were being studied for the disease, and increase from 381 in 2018.

Go deeper: The outlook for Alzheimer's research keeps getting bleaker

Go deeper

Drugmakers warn of medication shortages from coronavirus

Tourists with face masks walk through Union Square in New York City on Feb. 28. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Some of the largest drugmakers — including AstraZeneca, Merck and Pfizer — have said that the coronavirus outbreak could affect their supplies or sales, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Between the lines: Drug shortages can end up being incredibly serious for patients, but they're not good for business either.

Go deeperArrowMar 2, 2020 - Health

FDA defends its drug approval process after controversial reviews

FDA headquarters. Photo: Al Drago/CQ Roll Call

Many experts have questioned the FDA's drug approval standards over the past few years, as several controversial drugs have gotten the green light despite less rigorous testing.

What they're saying: Peter Stein, the head of the FDA's office that analyzes new drugs, sat down with Zachary Brennan of Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society and said the only thing that's changed with the FDA's approval process is a shift in the types of drugs the agency is reviewing.

Go deeperArrowFeb 11, 2020 - Health

Brand-name prescription drug prices have spiked since 2007

Reproduced from Hernandez et. al, 2020, "Changes in List Prices, Net Prices, and Discounts for Branded Drugs in the US, 2007-2018"; Chart: Axios Visuals

The price of brand-name prescription drugs went up by 60% between 2007 and 2018, after accounting for rebates and discounts, according to a new study in JAMA.

Why it matters: Drugmakers often argue that the uproar over drug prices is overblown, saying it focuses too much on list prices instead of the discounted prices insurance plans end up paying. But this study shows that those prices, too, are rising.

Go deeperArrowMar 4, 2020 - Health