Result card

  • ETH3: What are the benefits and harms of IGG for other stakeholders (relatives, other patients, organisations, commercial entities, society, etc.)?
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What are the benefits and harms of IGG for other stakeholders (relatives, other patients, organisations, commercial entities, society, etc.)?

Authors: Plamen Dimitrov, Anelia Koteva

Internal reviewers: Pseudo99 Pseudo99

Similar are the benefits and risks for the family, relatives, friends and caregivers of the patients participating in the experimental therapy. Benefits should be sought with regard to the improved quality of life for the patients as well as the positive impact on the social contacts of the persons concerned, while risks may refer to complications leading to reduced quality of life not only for the patient alone but for his/her kindred, as well (including need of extra care, financial loss, social isolation, stigmatization, etc.). Relatives providing care for persons with MCI should also be completely familiar with the pros and cons of the experiment, which lies within the responsibility of the researchers.


Apart from the direct benefits and risks for the patient and his/her relatives, passive immunotherapy with intravenous immunoglobulins may also produce indirect effects on society as a whole by involving significant health and social resources. If the experimental treatment turns out to be efficient and successful for AD patients in the long run and be approved of the respective regulatory authorities for routine clinical use, patients suffering from other diseases that are usually treated with the same blood product may be deprived of their treatment. Therefore, IVIG priority orientation towards AD patients would lead to a significant reduction in the therapeutic options for the persons suffering from autoimmune diseases, for instance. The high price of the mentioned blood product ranging between USD 3000 and USD 7000 per month[1] must also be taken into consideration – it not only makes treatment extremely expensive, but in light of scant or missing evidence of its effectiveness and safety so far puts its benefits into question.


[1] Foster, J.K., G. Verdile, K.A. Bates and R.N. Martins, “Immunization in Alzheimer’s Disease: Naïve Hope or Realistic Clinical Potential?”, “Molecular Psychiatry” (2009) 14, 239-251, available at: .

Dimitrov P, Koteva A Result Card ETH3 In: Dimitrov P, Koteva A Ethical analysis In: Jefferson T, Cerbo M, Vicari N [eds.]. Use of Intravenous immunoglobulins for Alzeheimer’s disease including Mild Cognitive Impairment [Core HTA], Agenas - Agenzia nazionale per i servizi sanitari regionali ; 2015. [cited 24 October 2020]. Available from: