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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Meininger

Alzheimer's Disease Slowing Drug Approved by FDA: What to Know

On July 6th, the FDA announced that Leqembi (lecanemab-irmb), a drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), has received traditional approval. FDA’s Director of the Office of Neuroscience said in the official press release, “This [Leqembi]… is the latest therapy to target and affect the underlying disease process of Alzheimer’s, instead of only treating the symptoms of the disease.” This approval marks a new milestone in the treatment of AD, and Leqembi is generating positive buzz across media outlets.

However, experts warn it may cause financial hiccups for the government. In a KFF Policy Watch article, the authors explain that Leqembi is predicted to cause large increases in Medicare spending and could lead to huge jumps in Part B premiums. (Leqembi is not covered under Medicare Part D). Additionally, Leqembi’s list price of almost $30,000 means that it may too costly for older adults who cannot afford the 20% coinsurance required until their plan’s maximum out-of-pocket spending has been reached. These predicted market effects remain to be seen. For now, patients and providers alike can celebrate the introduction of a new tool in the fight against AD.

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