(By Arthur Allen for KFF Health News)
The first drug purporting to slow the advance of Alzheimer’s disease is likely to cost the U.S. health care system billions annually even as it remains out of reach for many of the lower-income seniors most likely to suffer from dementia.
Medicare and Medicaid patients will make up 92% of the market for lecanemab, according to Eisai Co., which sells the drug under the brand name Leqembi. In addition to the company’s $26,500 annual price tag for the drug, treatment could cost U.S. taxpayers $82,500 per patient per year, on average, for genetic tests and frequent brain scans, safety monitoring, and other care, according to estimates from the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, or ICER. The FDA gave the drug full approval July 6. About 1 million Alzheimer’s patients in the U.S. could qualify to use it. Continue reading here…
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