Ever since Medicare proposed to severely restrict protection for the controversial Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm, the company has been inundated with impassioned appeals. Teams representing sufferers insisted that the federal insurance coverage program pay for the drug. Many Alzheimer’s illness consultants and docs have warned in opposition to widespread protection of a therapy with unsure advantages and severe security dangers. Particular person sufferers and households weighed in with emotional statements from each side.
On Thursday, Medicare officers introduced their ultimate determination. Though the Meals and Drug Administration has accepted Aduhelm for some 1.5 million individuals, Medicare will solely cowl it for individuals who obtain it as contributors in a scientific trial.
Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, administrator of the Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Providers stated the choice was meant to guard sufferers whereas gathering information to point whether or not Aduhelm, an costly monoclonal antibody given as a month-to-month infusion, may really assist them by slowing the speed of their cognitive decline.
“It’s our obligation at CMS to essentially ensure it’s affordable and obligatory,” Ms. Brooks-LaSure stated in an interview Thursday. “The overwhelming majority” of the roughly 10,000 feedback the company obtained on its web site, she stated, have been in favor of “actually limiting Aduhelm’s protection to a extremely managed area the place we may proceed to evaluate its relevance to the Medicare inhabitants”.