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Biogen Alzheimer’s Medicare Setback Shocks Industry, Patients

Jan. 12, 2022, 4:30 PM

The U.S. government’s preliminary decision to pay for Biogen Inc.’s new Alzheimer’s disease drug only in very limited circumstances gave fresh fuel to a long-running fight over whether the treatment’s cost is worth its disputed benefits.

Patient advocates and Biogen responded with shock and dismay after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services tightly restricted coverage of Aduhelm, which the drugmaker had initially priced at $56,000 a year. It has since cut the price in half.

But insurance companies skeptical of the therapy cheered the move, as did lawmakers including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who had criticized the ...