The following can be attributed to Harry Johns, Alzheimer's Association CEO:
CHICAGO, January 11, 2022
— Today’s draft decision by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is shocking discrimination against everyone with Alzheimer’s disease, especially those who are already disproportionately impacted by this fatal disease, including women, Blacks and Hispanics.
With this approach, access to treatment would now only be available to a privileged few, those with access to research institutions, exacerbating and creating further health inequities. In issuing its decision CMS has the audacity to cite the Alzheimer’s Association 2021 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures
report on the challenges and barriers underrepresented communities have in participating in clinical trials, and then turn around and propose to impose those very barriers.
People living with Alzheimer’s disease deserve the same access to therapies given to those living with other conditions like cancer, heart disease and HIV/AIDS. For those in the Administration to treat those with Alzheimer’s disease differently than those with other diseases is simply unacceptable.
Critically, this draft decision is not about one treatment but about this class of potential future treatments targeting amyloid for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. This draft decision appears focused on an individual treatment rather than a class, which is not what CMS set out to do.
CMS must change this draft decision. They must ensure equitable access for all who could benefit from FDA-approved treatments. The Alzheimer's Association calls on CMS to not only listen, but hear the needs of people living with dementia and their caregivers.
The Alzheimer's Association leads the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia®. For more information, visit www.alz.org or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.