Alzheimer’s patients interested in new drug to battle the disease

Reporter: Breana Ross Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
DEB JOBE alzheimers
Credit: Deb Jobe

Families of Alzheimer’s patients rejoiced at the news of a new experimental drug to battle this disease.

Medical experts caution that they aren’t sure just how effective the new drug is, but patients say that won’t stop them.

Aduhelm will go on the market soon, but again, experts stress this is not a cure.

Some researchers and the FDA’s own advisors say there’s not enough data to show the drug is effective.

Families say that even if there’s a small chance that it will help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, then it’s a chance worth taking.

Deb Jobe holds onto her memories tight these days; memories of dancing with her husband, long New Year’s Eve kisses, and cute moments with her daughter. Those are memories and people she never wants to forget.

“I don’t want to forget my family. Eventually, it’s gonna happen down the road,” Jobe said.

While Jobe is only 55 years old, her doctor says she has a variant of Alzheimer’s. It is in the early stages but she can no longer work or drive.

Time is precious to her. “My grandson is 10 months old. I want to watch him grow. I want him to know me the way I am now.”

For Jobe and millions of people like her, the new FDA-approved Alzheimer’s drug offers a glimmer of hope.

Dr. Susan Steen’s office is part of the clinical trials. She has patients on the drug right now and dozens more are calling her office to get it.

“I do feel that it should have been approved,” Steen said.

Steen is a partner with Tampa Neurology Associates and First Choice Neurology. She is also president of Axiom Clinical Research of Florida.

“This is the disease without a whole lot of hope at this point and so this has opened up that channel where people are hopeful that they might be a candidate for the medicine,” she said.

Jobe is one of the people trying to get in line for the drug. She hopes it will give her more time with her loved ones and let her keep those precious memories.

“Even if I only get six months more good quality time in the end, I’ll take it. Every moment, every day is precious,” Jobe said.

This drug doesn’t come cheap. It’s a monthly infusion through an IV that will cost $4,667.  That adds up to about $56,000 per year.

Steen said there’s still a lot to sort out, like how to figure out who qualifies, the possible side effects, and if there is a way to cut the price down for patients as insurance companies get involved.

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