US health insurance limits use of Alzheimer’s drug
Medicines, a stethoscope and a calculator (symbolic image). © turk_stock_photographer / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images
NEW YORK (dpa-AFX) – The US public health insurance company wants to severely limit the assumption of the immense costs for a controversial new Alzheimer’s drug. The organization communicated a preliminary ruling on Tuesday that the drug should only be paid for for patients participating in clinical trials. This could mean a decisive setback for the future of Aduhelm, whose costs per year and patient are listed at around 28,000 US dollars (around 24,500 euros).
The US drug agency FDA approved Aduhelm in the summer despite controversial effectiveness. The active ingredient aducanumab is the first novel treatment method against the neurodegenerative disease that has been approved since 2003. The drug developed by the US biotechnology company Biogen (Biogen share) is intended to be given to patients with early Alzheimer’s disease as a monthly infusion and to stop the decline in mental power. It is also the first active ingredient to be approved in the USA that is intended to counteract the progression of the disease and not just symptoms.
How well aducanumab works is, however, controversial: an internal FDA advisory committee had spoken out against the approval, and several scientists had expressed their public skepticism. However, numerous patient organizations had campaigned for approval – also because approval would strengthen research in the field. / Scb / DP / stk
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