As a past caregiver for three relatives that had Alzheimer’s disease, access to treatments that can change the course of the disease in a meaningful way for people living with early Alzheimer’s is of critical importance to me.
The Food and Drug Administration approved lecanemab. Based on results from very strong clinical trials, leading Alzheimer’s researchers agree this treatment changes the course of the disease in a meaningful way for people with early Alzheimer’s. Because of the decision the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) has put in place, Medicare will not cover this treatment. Never before has CMS imposed such drastic access barriers, especially for people facing a fatal disease. This is the first time that Medicare will not cover an FDA-approved treatment upon approval. Every FDA-approved drug is covered by Medicare, except for Alzheimer’s.
CMS’s policy is unjustified, harmful and unfair. Just as is true for individuals with every other disease, people living with Alzheimer’s and their doctors should be able to decide if an FDA-approved treatment is right for them and should have it covered. People living with Alzheimer’s deserve better, and need support from Congress. The Alzheimer’s Association has filed a formal request asking CMS to provide full, unrestricted coverage for FDA-approved Alzheimer’s treatments.
Please join me in urging U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen to demand CMS ensure individuals living with Alzheimer’s have equitable access to FDA-approved Alzheimer’s treatments.
Go to alzimpact.org to learn more.
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