Medicare/Medicaid Denies Coverage for Promising, Expensive Alzheimer’s Drug

Across the State of Iowa – Advocates in Iowa are stunned by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, decision to deny coverage for an entire class of drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease .

Lauren Livingston, spokesperson for the Iowa Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, said the global decision has huge implications beyond the initial drug, Aduhelm.


The draft decision states that all future FDA-approved treatments in this drug class, regardless of clinical trial results and FDA recommendations, will NOT be covered except in another clinical trial.

Aduhelm shows promise in treating early-stage Alzheimer’s disease and for others with mild cognitive impairment. For CMS, denying coverage, says Livingston, puts money concerns above patients’ lives.

Many other drugs used in the treatment of other conditions are quite expensive and ARE covered by the CMS, she notes. A statement from the CEO of the national association says, “People living with Alzheimer’s disease deserve the same access to therapies as those living with other illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and HIV/AIDS. For members of the administration to treat people with Alzheimer’s disease differently than people with other illnesses is simply unacceptable. About six million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease, including some 66,000 residents of Iowa.

You can visit the Iowa Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org/iowa.

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