Skip to Main Content

WASHINGTON — A small group of physicians with deep, at times undisclosed, financial ties to the drug maker Biogen has emerged as the most vocal defenders of the company’s questionably effective and costly Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm.

The four doctors, who all served as consultants to Biogen in 2020, have written articles in scientific journals defending the drug, praised the drug in the press, and appealed directly to the Food and Drug Administration to approve the drug — sometimes without disclosing that they had served as paid consultants for the company. Since 2014, the four have taken in $117,000 in consulting fees from the company.


Now the same group is pushing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to cover Aduhelm and other similar drugs — a crucial decision that will determine whether Aduhelm is a commercial success or one of the biggest flops in the history of the drug industry. Biogen is already considering layoffs because early uptake has been so slow, but has told investors that getting Medicare to cover Aduhelm will turn things around. Biogen representatives met with CMS earlier this year to push for coverage of the drug.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!


Create a display name to comment

This name will appear with your comment

There was an error saving your display name. Please check and try again.