We have previously reported on the decision of Medicare to cover the cost of the very expensive and controversial Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm only in
very limited circumstances. The decision was important because the unusually large increase in Medicare Part B premiums this year was due to the anticipated costs for covering the treatment of all Medicare-eligible Alzheimer’s patients with the drug Aduhelm.
With the decision to limit the coverage, it was announced that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is looking at lowering the Part B premium increase.
However, the maker of the Alzheimer’s drug and patient advocates are increasing their lobbying presence as they press Medicare to reverse its decision.
It is unclear if this increased lobbying effort will affect Medicare’s decision on lowering Part B premiums, but it is unfortunate that this has become a political issue rather than strictly a medical-scientific issue.
If the medical evidence was convincing on the effectiveness of Aduhelm in treating Alzheimer’s, it would be very different, but the results are not clear, which is why Medicare made the decision to pay for it only certain approved clinical trials.
We are watching for the CMS decision about lowering Part B premiums and we will report on it when it is made.