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July 16, 2021, 8:55 a.m. EDT

Cleveland Clinic, Mount Sinai and Providence won’t give Biogen’s new Alzheimer’s drug

The three hospital operators are holding off on administering Aduhelm amid a debate over its effectiveness

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By Joseph Walker

Bloomberg News/Landov

Three large hospitals are declining to administer Biogen Inc.’s new Alzheimer’s treatment, Aduhelm, the latest rupture to emerge from the Food and Drug Administration’s controversial approval of the drug last month.

The Cleveland Clinic, Mount Sinai Health System in New York and Providence in Renton, Wash., said they wouldn’t administer Aduhelm, which is also called aducanumab /zigman2/quotes/201531540/composite BIIB -2.05% , to patients amid a debate about the drug’s effectiveness and whether the FDA lowered its standards in approving the medicine.

Don’t miss : FDA calls for investigation into its own approval of Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug.

Also read : Medicare evaluating coverage for Biogen’s new $56,000 Alzheimer’s drug.

The hospitals’ moves come as some health insurers also restrict access to the therapy—unusual pushback against a drug targeting a devastating disease like Alzheimer’s that has few effective treatments.

While some doctors have been eager to start prescribing the newly approved drug, others have criticized the FDA for clearing the drug before studies proved it works. The critics have also expressed concerns about whether the drug’s benefits, which appeared to be modest in studies, are worth the risks of side effects such as brain bleeding that require regular monitoring by physicians.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com .

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