Based on the available data, I’m not clear and skeptical at this moment,” said Yale professor Reshma Ramachandran. “I would have a lot of reservations about prescribing this. “I do think one of the things that have given us a lot of pause…is the risk and the death issue. Nobody wants to be the clinician prescribing a drug that could potentially harm our patients,” she added.” That is just the tip of the problem.

The FDA has approved an Alzheimer’s drug that slowed the rate of cognitive decline in clinical trials without using an advisory committee. The high drug cost — priced at $26,000 per year, Eisai said — combined with strict restrictions on reimbursement by US government-funded health schemes will severely limit the number of patients able to access the medicine, at least for now. What is going on here?