Gauging Physicians’ and Payers’ Evolving Receptivity to Emerging Symptomatic vs. Disease-Modifying Therapies
With aging populations, the seven major pharmaceutical markets face an ever-expanding Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patient population that will surpass 10 million by 2022. Currently available symptomatic therapies offer only modest, short-term benefits, and none can prevent, stop, or modify the progression of AD. The rapidly growing AD patient population and the high unmet need for bona fide disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) support a considerable and largely untapped commercial opportunity. Despite repeated failures among investigational DMTs, the race to unlock this opportunity continues to attract pharmaceutical companies, and several late-stage trials of putative DMTs are ongoing. However, trial results thus far indicate that substantial effects on markers of disease pathology do not necessarily correlate with improved clinical outcomes for patients. As a result, surveyed neurologists and interviewed thought leaders remain eager for superior clinical benefits from emerging symptomatic alternatives as the wait for DMTs continues.