Medicare officials are trying to determine whether to cover aducanumab or Aduhelm. Since last year, Medicare has been evaluating whether to pay for a new expensive drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease. The F.D.A. approved the “miracle” drug.
However, aout 40% of patients who have taken it have suffered swelling or bleeding in the brain. Alzheimer’s disease is twice as common among Black Americans as among non-Hispanic Whites (18% versus 10%). Less than 1% of patients in manufacturer Biogen’s primary studies were Black.
Medicare will not pay without further testing and credible positive effects. For now, Aduhelm should be given only to beneficiaries who volunteer for a clinical trial. Let’s hope it helps the horrible disease of Alzheimer’s.