Biogen Alzheimer's drug slow to take off as U.S. Medicare wrestles with coverage


21 July 2021 - U.S. hospitals that were expected to be early adopters of Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug have treated only a handful of patients since its early June approval as they wait for the first payments from the government’s Medicare program for people aged 65 and older.

Some prominent doctors, hospitals and health insurers have criticised the FDA decision and said they will not offer the drug. The agency itself has invited an outside investigation into its decision-making process.

Other leading institutions, including in Michigan, Florida and Rhode Island, were eager to make the therapy available to patients in the hope it will provide a benefit, but told Reuters this week they are proceeding slowly while Medicare determines how it will cover Aduhelm, initially priced at about $56,000 per year.

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Michael Wonder

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Michael Wonder