Medical Community Discouraged by Alzheimer’s Treatment Challenges
An article from news.com.au reports that numerous setbacks in the search for an effective Alzheimer’s treatment have researchers, doctors, and patients frustrated with the slow progress and high costs. According to news.com.au, treating Alzheimer’s disease remains one of medicine’s greatest challenges and the pressure to find a cure continues to increase as the global population ages.
Last month, the research of two potential Alzheimer’s drugs yielded unsuccessful trial runs, which led major pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson to end testing. Eric Karran, research director at Alzheimer's Research UK, stated “The pharmaceutical industry has had a range of very, very expensive failures. I worry they might be thinking: 'this is very difficult and we will just have to wait until the science is more evolved'."
According to the article, Alzheimer’s is considered one of the costliest diseases in terms of research and treatment. However, Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) reported receiving only a fraction of what the U.S. government spends on disease research. For Alzheimer’s patients, the cost of hospitalization, home care, drugs, and clinic visit costs is expected to increase 85 percent within the next 20 years.
Researchers have reported that the current goal is to develop a drug that targets the disease in its early stages, but the problem is that patient can unknowingly have the disease for up to 15 years before symptoms start. The article claimed that if the government, researchers, and drug companies can efficiently combine efforts, a treatment might be possible within 20 years; however, it stressed the importance of avoiding giving false hope to patients.
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