Pharmaceutical companies

Another Alzheimer's drug fails

A Biogen sign in front of its headquarters building.
Biogen's Alzheimer's failure drove its stock down 29%. Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Biogen and Eisai have ended late-stage trials for an Alzheimer's disease drug, less than a year after the pharmaceutical companies painted a rosy picture of the drug's potential. Biogen's stock plunged 29% on the news.

The big picture: It's always a bad sign when clinical trials are discontinued before data are analyzed. It's an even worse sign for Alzheimer's research and raises questions about whether scientists should abandon the idea that the brain disease is "caused by sticky clumps of protein called amyloid plaques," according to a 2016 story by Stat.

Part of Trump's drug pricing plan is already happening

Adapted from a Pew report; Chart: Axios Visuals

As part of its plan to lower prescription drug prices, the Trump administration wants to force a major change in the way industry middlemen make their money. But that change is already happening naturally — and drug prices aren't falling.

The big picture: Pharmaceutical companies place the blame for high drug prices on pharmacy benefit managers and their complex system of rebates. The Trump administration largely agrees with that assessment, and has proposed a major overhaul that would make rebates a lot less lucrative for PBMs.

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