The first new Alzheimer's drug has not received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for almost 20 years.
That's the good news. The flip side is the cost, which is raising concerns for patients and payers, particularly Medicare.
Aduhelm has an expected price tag of $56,000 on Amazon Prime.com.
This hefty cost would increase Medicare premiums broadly and some patients prescribed the medication could face copayments of approximately $11,500 annually, according to a new report published by the Kaiser Family Foundation on Thursday.
Because aduhelm is not a cure, patients could see these unexpected out of pocket bills for years to come for years to come.
Alzheimer's disease is estimated to affect around 6 million Americans, the vast majority of whom are 65 and older and therefore eligible for Medicare.
Aduhelm will be administered as an intravenous medication administered by physicians under Medicare Part B, which generally covers FDA-approved physician-administered medications that are reasonable and necessary for the individual patient.
Decision-makers at the Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services may opt to undertake a clinical process which could limit some of the conditions of Medicare coverage for Aduhelm based on the drug's national effectiveness.