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Waters Statement Regarding FDA Approval of First New Alzheimer’s Drug in 20 Years

June 7, 2021
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 7, 2021

Contact:  Marcus.Frias@mail.house.gov

Waters Statement Regarding FDA Approval of First New Alzheimer’s Drug in 20 Years

Los Angeles – Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services and Co-Chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s, issued the following statement regarding the approval of Aducanumab – a drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease - by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“As a Co-Chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s, I have always been a strong supporter of Alzheimer’s research through the National Institutes of Health, and I am hopeful that the scientists who dedicate their lives to this research will find an effective and safe treatment or cure for Alzheimer’s as soon as possible. As I have said before, the devastating and costly effects of Alzheimer’s on those living with the disease and their loved ones are extremely difficult to deal with, and that pain is only compounded by the fact that there is still no effective treatment.

“Through my work supporting funding for Alzheimer’s research and those who serve as caregivers to people battling the disease, I have worked with the Alzheimer’s Association, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, and other related groups who have expressed optimism around today’s FDA approval of Aducanumab. I recognize that there has been hesitancy from the FDA advisory committee and others regarding the drug’s efficacy but given the support from these organizations and the opportunity this could present; I remain hopeful about the prospects of this treatment. I expect that the FDA-ordered post-approval trial of the treatment will bring about more definitive information about Aducanumab’s effectiveness and I support the FDA’s ability to remove the drug from the market if necessary. Having said that, I trust the scientists to determine whether proposed treatments are safe and effective.

“Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias have proven to be costly in many ways and as new treatments emerge, we must remain committed to removing barriers to them and ensuring that they are accessible to all people of all backgrounds who qualify for them.”

In March, Congresswoman Maxine Waters reintroduced her bill, the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act, which provides training and support services to those providing unpaid care to patients with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. It also requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to coordinate with the Office of Minority Health and the Office of Women’s Health to ensure that women, people of color, and other underserved communities are not left behind.

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