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Aduhelm was only studied in patients with "mild cognitive impairment." Photo: Biogen

Biogen has updated the prescription information for the experimental Alzheimer's treatment Aduhelm, saying the drug "should be initiated in patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia stage of disease" instead of people who have more advanced Alzheimer's.

Why it matters: It's an unusual step to modify a drug's label so soon after approval, raising questions about why the FDA approved the drug for such a broad patient population in the first place.

Between the lines: Several drug policy experts questioned whether the FDA and Biogen actually narrowed who can get the drug.

  • The label still says Aduhelm is broadly "indicated for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease."

The big picture: This move formalizes how the medical community was already viewing the drug.

  • Many doctors have said they will either not prescribe Aduhelm or only give it to patients who have mild dementia.

Go deeper

Oct 13, 2021 - Health

U.S. sees record high of 96,000 drug overdose deaths in 12 month period

Tramadol pills, an opioid. Photo: Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded over 96,000 deaths from drug overdoses in a twelve-month period ending in March 2021, according to provisional data released Wednesday.

Why it matters: It's a nearly 30% jump over the preceding 12 months and coincides with one of the deadliest periods of the COVID-19 pandemic, when stay-at-home orders radically changed daily life for most Americans.

Oct 14, 2021 - Health

FDA panel unanimously endorses Moderna boosters for certain populations

A pharmacist prepares to give a COVID-19 booster vaccination. Photo: Karwai Tang/Getty Images

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel on Thursday endorsed boosters for Moderna recipients who are at high risk of severe COVID-19, occupational exposure to COVID-19 or are 65 years and older.

Why it matters: The unanimous decision mirrors the FDA conditions for those who qualify for a Pfizer booster.

White House unveils landmark reports on climate links to security, migration

Photo Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Biden administration on Thursday released a sweeping set of assessments on how to view threats that climate change poses to national security and its role in fueling migration.

Why it matters: One of the key products, a formal National Intelligence Estimate on climate change, marks the first time all 18 elements of the U.S. intelligence community have released a consensus report on the topic.