Biogen's Costly Alzheimer's Treatment May Face Restricted Medicare Access: WSJ

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  • The recent approval of Biogen Inc's BIIB high-price Alzheimer's drug is raising questions about who will have access to the $56,000/year treatment that could cost Medicare billions of dollars in coming years.
  • Medicare typically pays unconditionally for approved medicines, but to limit the financial hit from Aduhelm, however, Medicare could restrict access, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Wall Street analysts estimate it could eventually surpass $5 billion in yearly sales, mostly paid by Medicare.
  • "Medicare can't afford to treat this as business as usual," said Andy Slavitt, a former Medicare acting administrator and Biden administration senior adviser.
  • Meanwhile, Biogen said it wants to limit who gets Aduhelm to Alzheimer's patients in the early stage of the disease with mild symptoms.
  • Also, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform announced Friday that it would launch an investigation into the Alzheimer's drug's hotly debated FDA approval and pricing.
  • The lawmakers plan to determine what led to the FDA's accelerated approval and Aduhelm's wide label through the investigation.
  • RBC Capital also maintained its sector performance rating and lowered its price target from $400 to $354.
  • Price Action: BIIB shares are down 2.48% at $339.32 during the market session on the last check Monday.
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Posted In: BiotechGovernmentNewsHealth CareFDALegalGeneralAlzheimer's diseaseBriefsWall Street Journal
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