The outcome of this trial was very encouraging!
As far as I am aware, this is the most successful clinical trial ever published for Alzheimer's dementia.
Where's the celebration?
A roughly 60% slowing of dementia progression in those with moderate Alzheimer's is extraordinary!
It would not be far wrong to call this a functional cure. This result clearly would have substantial clinical consequences when managing those with dementing illness. Additional studies that investigated how this treatment might alter the course of the illness if given at the mild cognitive impairment, stage would be of great value.
There is now a substantial amount of government research dollars flowing into AD research. If I were dishing out the money, then I would be inclined to write a check for $100 million to conduct additional clinical trials using this treatment. So much of the research budget will be directed to all the approaches that don't work. This would be one time when research dollars could be targeted for something that has already been shown to be effective. Such funding could help speed this treatment to clinical use and help the millions of American families and others coping with dementing illness.
Given the success reported in this trial, it is worthwhile to think about the treatments that were used and the cost associated with these treatments. clinicaltrial.gov lists three treatments used in the trial: Albutein® 20%, Flebogamma DIF 5%, and Plasmapheresis.
The Albutein cost appears potentially reasonable at perhaps $5000 per year, the Flebogamma cost would be more challenging at
roughly $72,000 per year and plasmapheresis cost could also be reasonably affordable if the cell separator was not overly expensive.
If anyone has the dosages the Albutein and Flebogamma and/or the frequency of the plasmapheresis, please post.
Roughly, the annual cost for treatment might be somewhere near $100,000.
I realize that this would not be affordable for many, though this is a very large step forward in the clinical management of AD.
Once there is at least a reasonably effective treatment with at least a plausible sticker price, revenues can be generated, research can be focused and even more effective and more affordable alternatives could emerge.
In adults, an initial infusion of 100 mL is suggested.
Albumed (250ml/5%) 20 % x 50ml $31.50
500 milliliters $0.21 $104.57
250 ML Albumin Human, USP 50 MG/ML Injection
Flebogamma DIF 5%
Dosage 300-600 mg per kg every 3-4 weeks
Solution for intravenous injection containing 5% IgG (50 mg per mL)
400 milliliters $4.88 $1,952.17
Cost $72,000 per year
As an outpatient costs roughly $1500. Purchasing a cell separator might be economically justified if ongoing treatment were needed.