FDA’s Approval of Biogen’s New Alzheimer’s Drug Has Huge Cost Implications for Medicare and Beneficiaries

(By Juliette Cubanski and Tricia Neuman for Kaiser Family Foundation published June 10, 2021)

The question of what would happen when a new, expensive prescription drug comes to market for a disease like Alzheimer’s that afflicts millions of people has loomed large in discussions over drug prices in the U.S.—and now we’re about to find out. After a nearly 20-year dry spell in new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved a new Alzheimer’s medication, Aduhelm (aducanumab), developed by Biogen, with an expected annual price tag of $56,000. While the scientific community debates the evidence of the effectiveness of this new drug, the FDA’s decision raises hope for Alzheimer’s patients and their families, along with serious cost concerns for patients and payers, particularly Medicare.  Continue reading here…

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