Medicare limits coverage of $28,000-a-year Alzheimer’s drug

Health

This image provided by Biogen shows a vial and packaging for the drug Aduhelm. On Monday the Food and Drug Administration approved Aduhelm, the first new medication for Alzheimer’s disease in nearly 20 years, disregarding warnings from independent advisers that the much-debated treatment hasn’t been shown to help slow the brain-destroying disease. (Biogen via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Medicare says it will limit coverage of a $28,000-a-year Alzheimer’s drug whose benefits have been widely questioned.

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Tuesday’s decision from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is a major development in the nation’s tug-of-war over the fair value of new medicines that offer tantalizing possibilities but come with prohibitive prices.

It means that patients taking Biogen’s Aduhelm medication will have to be part of research efforts to assess the drug’s effectiveness in slowing the progression of dementia.

The drug has sparked controversy since its approval by the Food and Drug Administration last June, which came against the recommendation of the agency’s outside advisers.

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