A patch to treat symptoms of Alzheimer's disease cleared its final federal hurdle today, offering new hope to patients with the memory-sapping disorder—and the caretakers who worry about whether they're taking their meds. Exelon, which treats mild to moderate dementia, enters the bloodstream directly, regulating dosage and reducing the side effects associated with the medication in capsule form.
Manufacturer Novartis says the patch, which the FDA also approved for treatment of Parkinson's symptons, will be available "soon," reports the AP. Sales had lagged under heated competition, an analyst told the Wall Street Journal, and should now pick up again. Because approval had been expected, the news had little impact on Novartis' stock price. (Read more Alzheimer's Disease stories.)