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Health News Florida

Medicare Copays For New Alzheimer's Drug Could Reach $11,500

ADUHELM drug.jpeg
Biogen
Aduhelm is the first Alzheimer’s medication in nearly 20 years, but it doesn’t cure the life-sapping neurological condition.

Aduhelm was recently approved by the FDA and quickly sparked controversy over its price and questionable benefits.

A new report says the $56,000 Alzheimer’s drug approved this week would raise Medicare premiums broadly.

On top of that, some older patients who are prescribed the medication could face copayments of about $11,500 annually.

The drug, called Aduhelm, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration this week and quickly sparked controversy over its price and questionable benefits.

It's the first Alzheimer’s medication in nearly 20 years, but it doesn’t cure the neurological condition. The FDA determined the drug's ability to reduce clumps of plaque in the brain is likely to slow dementia, but many experts, including agency advisers, say that benefit has not been clearly shown.

The new cost analysis by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation comes as congressional Democrats want to empower Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices.

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon calls the list price for Aduhelm “unconscionable.”

Medicare has not made a formal determination on covering Aduhelm, but cost traditionally does not enter into such considerations. Drugmaker Biogen has said it priced Aduhelm responsibly.