The UAE has become only the second country in the world to sign up for a new drug that treats the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
The decision will give patients the opportunity to have access to medication that will improve their quality of life, said the Ministry of Health and Prevention.
Aduhelm, which is produced by American company Biogen, was previously approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
The drug, which is administered via injections, is prescribed to patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
Dr Mohammed Salim Al Olama, undersecretary at the ministry, said services for patients above 65 were especially vital, as they are in the high-risk category.
“This comes as part of the national mental health policy strategy to achieve social, psychological and occupational empowerment of patients and provide reinforced, treatment and rehabilitation services of international standards,” he said.
The medication was hailed as offering a lifeline to patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
“We believe that this drug will give patients with early-stage Alzheimer's disease, their families, and healthcare providers a new glimmer of hope, especially as they have been waiting for scientific progress in this regard for decades,” said Rachid Azar, executive vice president of the Alzheimer’s and Cognitive Impairment Business Unit.
Paul Aisen from the Alzheimer's Therapeutic Research Institute, University of Southern California, said the new drug would have historic implications.
“For the first time in history, we have achieved an unprecedented achievement by moving beyond treating the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease towards targeting its main causes,” he said.
“Early detection and diagnosis will allow us to identify patients who may benefit from this innovative treatment.”