The newly approved drug aducanumab (Aduhelm), for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, has been causing quite a stir,
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sparking CMS to open a National Coverage Determination analysis (NCD) to review and determine a potential Medicare coverage policy. The research and development team at SpecialtyRx has been monitoring these developments closely, “at SpecialtyRX we stay on top of new drug developments within the industry to ensure our customers have availability to a wide range of therapeutics,” stated SpecialtyRx COO Joe Kubulak.
In arecently released statement by the Alzheimer’s Association they stated, “An NCD would help prevent regional and community level disparities due to barriers that would be difficult to overcome, particularly by those who have greater challenges accessing healthcare services.’ They believe that a well-designed analysis would create “rapid, open access to crucial information regarding efficacy, safety and equity to help ensure that everyone who might benefit has access.”
In addition, the Alzheimer’s Association is asking CMS to offer guidance to healthcare providers and patients on how to gain access to coverage. ‘Patients and their families are understandably eager for treatment to begin now; providers need to understand what will be covered as we wait for an eventual NCD.’
The NCD analysis will include a 30-day public comment period. CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure recently stated, “Alzheimer’s is a devastating illness that has touched the lives of millions of American families. We want to consider Medicare coverage of new treatments very carefully in light of the evidence available.”
With an annual price tag of $56,000 for Aduhelm, many are hoping coverage will come soon.