In the United States, Alzheimer's patients are under pressure to pay for Biogen's medication

In the United States, Alzheimer's patients are under pressure to pay for Biogen's medication.

Patient groups are launching a public pressure exercise that aims to persuade the US government to tighten restrictions on new Alzheimer's treatment, spend millions of dollars on television and local advertisements that started on Sunday morning political shows.

The unusual ad campaign comes after a widespread disagreement between government health agencies on who should have access to Biogen's Aduhelm, the first treatment for the mind-wasting disease to be approved in 20 years.

In January, the government's Medicare program, which provides health benefits to Americans aged 65 and older, proposed paying for Biogen's medication and similar therapies in development only for patients who have been in administration studies for years.

People with Alzheimer's are able to remove amyloid plaques from the brain of those who have Alzheimer's. The agency has until April 11 to issue a final coverage decision.

Aduhelm was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last June, even if only one of two late-stage trials indicated that it could help slow cognitive decline. As written, the Medicare program would also apply to plaque-clearing medications in advanced development by Eli Lilly and Co, Roche Holding AG and Eisai Co Ltd.

USAgainstAlzheimer's, one of the largest US-based organizations representing patients with the disease, said it is sponsoring ads in Washington D.C. and Baltimore areas that are targeted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Department of Health and Human Services, the White House, and Congress.

"We want to bring a face to those who are affected by this Medicare decision," said USAgainstAlzheimer's chairman. "We tend to talk about vast numbers. We don't talk about individual people."

He said that the organization is investing millions on the Alzheimer's treatment, which will include social media outreach and print ads on bus stops and other transportation in the Washington area. Many people have the tag line "Alzheimer's patients can't wait."


Thousands of patients and doctors have already pressed the Medicare agency with letters, implying that patients should not be cut off from the new medications once their usage has been approved. Despite the same remarks, Medicare commended for curbing Aduhelm's use.

The price of Aduhelm was reduced from $56,000 per year in December to $28,200. This prompted concern about Medicare's budget, owing to the fact that Alzheimer's is an age-related illness, and that around 85% of people who purchase the medication are covered by the government plan.

From more than six million people currently, the number of Alzheimer's patients is expected to jump to 13 million by 2050.

Aduhelm, which is licensed for people in the early stages of the memory-robbing illness, has been estimated to be eligible for around 1 million people.

Patients, their caregivers, and others will use the facility to review their restrictive plan, according to the Alliance for Aging Research.

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In the United States, Alzheimer's patients are under pressure to pay for Biogen's medication.


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