A microscopic look at Alzheimer’s Disease

Despite a recent price drop of roughly 50% for Aduhelm, the new drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, it is still extremely expensive at $28K per year, and its future now lies in the hands of Medicare.  They will meet this month to decide whether or not the government will cover this infusion drug for senior citizens.  Because the vast majority of prescriptions for this drug are likely to be for those on Medicare, this will be a very important decision for Biogen, the manufacturer of the drug.  Although the FDA has approved the drug, clinical trials showed the drug had significant safety risks and the benefit to patients is unclear.  Therefore, its approval for Medicare reimbursement is anything but a shoe-in.  Medicare almost always approves drugs which have received the stamp of approval of the FDA, but in this case it has not—researchers at Medicare have been studying the drug for over a month.  “It’s truly unprecedented,” James Chambers, a researcher at the Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health at Tufts Medical Center, told the Wall Street Journal.


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