Saturday, June 15, 2019

Pfizer decides against publicizing data on a drug that could prevent Alzheimer’s

Article Written By: Kian Yousefi Kousha


Pfizer pharmaceutical company has made headlines in the media for not letting the world know about a drug that could possibly prevent Alzheimer’s disease. After analyzing the health-related insurance claims of patients, Pfizer found that the company’s arthritis therapy drug, Enbrel, has anti-inflammatory characteristics that might reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 64 percent.

To see if the study’s results are reliable, Pfizer researchers urged the company to conduct a clinical trial, where Enbrel could be tested on humans. According to a document obtained by the Washington Post, the estimated cost for the clinical trials would be around 80 million dollars. 

Pfizer recently confirmed the company’s decision to not conduct additional investigations on Enbrel as a potential prevention drug for Alzheimer’s, leading to the data related to the study not being publicized. Pfizer has told Washington Post that the decision against conducting clinical trials was based upon the low likelihood of Enbrel’s effectiveness. This is said to be due to the fact that Enbrel does not reach the brain tissues directly. Moreover, Pfizer believes that publicizing their data could have led scientists to invalid conclusions as the company had doubts about the study’s results. 

Nevertheless, some scientists disagree with Pfizer’s decision and believe that the scientific community could use the company’s data about Enbrel and its effect on Alzheimer’s:
“It would benefit the scientific community to have that data out there, whether it was positive data or negative data, it gives us more information to make better informed decisions” says Keenan Walker, an assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins, who studies the contribution of inflammation to Alzheimer’s disease. 

Read the full article by the Washington Post here: 
Image Credit: Daily Herald

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