Medicare would cover an expensive and controversial Alzheimer's drug called Aduhelm, but only for those participating in clinical trials, under a proposal announced Tuesday.
The drug is intended for Alzheimer's patients in the early stages of the disease and will be limited to Medicare recipients who are participating in studies by the National Institutes of Health or in approved clinical trials, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said.
SHOTS - HEALTH NEWSCost and controversy are limiting use of new Alzheimer's drugThe drug is the first treatment approved in the country to slow cognitive decline in those living with the progressive disease. However, medical experts and doctors have refused to prescribe it given the lack of data and evidence about whether it actually slows memory loss.
Given the number of people who might qualify for the drug, health care officials were concerned it could strain Medicare's budget. Anticipation of the drug's costs, following a broad CMS coverage decision, led Medicare to increase premiums for this year.
"CMS has proposed an evidence-based coverage policy after experts reviewed all relevant publicly available evidence and feedback received from stakeholders," CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said in a statement.
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