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Tuesday 18 July 2023

Donanemab: Another Wonder Drug. So many heralded! But what happens to them?

Donanemab is the latest of a long list of so-called "Wonder Drug" to be announced by the mainstream media. This one, we are told, is "a turning point in the fight against dementia".

The entire media, and the dementia health charities, use the same wording. Donanemab is being hailed as a turning point in the fight against Alzheimer's disease. This follows a global trial, published in the health journal JAMA, that "confirms it slows cognitive decline" by 35%.

But behind this 'good news' are the usual caveats

  • It does not cure all dementias, only Alzheimer's disease.
  • It is not a cure, even for Alzheimer's - it is claimed only that it slows the progress of the disease.
  • It costs £20,000 per patient per year.
  • It works best when Alzheimer's is diagnosed early, much earlier than most people are diagnosed
  • It has not been approved by drug regulators yet.
  • The drug is known to have severe adverse reactions (mentioned in some, but not all news reports), including brain swelling; plus 3 people died as a result of dangerous swelling in the brain.
  • The drug is made by Eli Lilly; but we are not told who paid for the trials.

Do you remember the drug lecanemab. This made headlines around the world in December 2022, less than 8 months ago. I wrote about it here, "Alzheimers drug lecanemab hailed as momentous breakthrough in the treatment of dementia". What happened to it?

Lecanemab, was rejected by the European drug regulator over both safety concerns, and a lack of any firm evidence that the drug was effective for patients.

Do have a read! You will get a strong feeling of deja vu - with the same optimistic headlines are being repeated, time and time again. So how will Donanemab get on? Watch this page!

But it will probably do little better than the other so called "wonder drugs" that have been heralded during the last 50 years and more! I have written about this, here, in September 2019, in a blog entitled "New Pharmaceutical Drugs, New Medical Breakthroughs. New Wonder Drugs. New Miracle Treatments. No Benefits".

So these "good news" stories happen on a regular basis, and usually end up in the same way - failure. The stories raise people's hope that pharmaceutical medicine will eventually cure us of illness and disease. It has never done so yet. They bring hope, only for hope to be dashed, usually very quickly.

About 15 years ago, I wrote a blog entitled "the Ages of Conventional Medical Drugs", taking them through their usual journey of birth, childhood, adulthood, old age and death. It was first written in my E-Book, "The Failure of Conventional Medicine"

The only thing that has happened since then is that these stages now seem to pass very much more quickly than they used to!