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Wed Jun 7, 2023, 06:01 PM

Sanders to Biden: Don't Let Big Pharma Bankrupt Medicare With 'Unconscionable' Price of Alzheimer's


"We must substantially lower the price that Medicare pays for prescription drugs like Leqembi," said the Vermont Independent, "and HHS has the power to do just that."


At issue is Leqembi, a drug developed by Eisai, a Japanese pharmaceutical corporation, and Biogen, a U.S. company that previously sought to charge $56,000 for an annual supply of a different Alzheimer's treatment called Aduhelm. Following a pressure campaign led by Sanders and other drug affordability advocates, Biogen reduced the price of Aduhelm—whose efficacy and safety have been questioned by doctors—to $28,200 per year.

"Despite concerns among the scientific community about the clinical benefit of Leqembi, its manufacturers... plan to charge $26,500 per year for this drug even though the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, an independent non-profit organization, has estimated that this drug should be sold for as little as $8,900 per year based on its effectiveness," Sanders wrote.

"If just 10% of the 6.7 million older adults with Alzheimer's disease take Leqembi, the Kaiser Family Foundation has estimated that it would cost $17.8 billion—or nearly half of what Medicare Part B spent on all drugs in 2021," noted the Vermont Independent. "And this is just for one drug. As you know, many of the new drugs coming onto the market are even more expensive. This is not sustainable."

Moreover, "the introduction of Leqembi at this unconscionable price would be grossly unfair to seniors suffering from Alzheimer's disease who simply could not afford to pay the 20% co-payment of more than $5,000 a year for this drug," the progressive lawmaker continued. "With a median income of about $30,000 a year for seniors on Medicare the purchase of this one drug would amount to over one-sixth of their limited income."



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Reply Sanders to Biden: Don't Let Big Pharma Bankrupt Medicare With 'Unconscionable' Price of Alzheimer's (Original post)
Uncle Joe Jun 2023 OP
hlthe2b Jun 2023 #1
mopinko Jun 2023 #2

Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jun 7, 2023, 06:06 PM

1. Yup... The data on ultimate outcome efficacy is not there.

I get the intense feelings among Alzheimer-impacted families and sympathize, but until these drugs are shown to have a direct impact on the progression, symptoms, morbidity/mortality for Alzheimer's as opposed to a theoretical impact from the decrease of beta-amyloid and tau proteins, we can't bankrupt Medicare funding them. Few drugs like this are approved based solely on the impact of an intermediate target within the pathway as opposed to the ultimate outcome indicators. So far, that is lacking.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 7, 2023, 06:34 PM

2. yeah, if it keeps ppl out of nursing homes, that's 1 thing.

have a suspicion that’s their calculus- as long as it’s cheaper than the home, ppl will pay.

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