Chicago, May 3, 2022
— On behalf of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and their families, the Alzheimer’s Association remains deeply disappointed about how their medical needs continue to be ignored.
Today’s news that Biogen has decided to “substantially” eliminate all spending on Aduhelm is the latest in a string of actions by the company and others that prevent people living with Alzheimer’s disease from accessing current and future Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved treatments that address the underlying biology of Alzheimer’s disease.
The approval of this new treatment was historic and warranted, yet at every turn, barriers to equitable access have been put in front of people living with Alzheimer’s, despite the devastating and fatal impact on so many. From an unacceptably high price, to private insurers refusing coverage, health institutions proactively choosing not to administer treatment, and the federal government turning its back on those affected by Alzheimer’s, patients have been, and continue to be, treated unfairly and differently than people facing other diseases.
Since the draft coverage decision was first announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Alzheimer’s Association has been warning about the dire consequences this action would have for people living with Alzheimer’s disease. Today’s unsurprising action by Biogen, following the unprecedented decision by CMS to not cover an FDA-approved treatment for the first time ever, has all but eliminated access to this FDA-approved treatment for anyone facing an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
People living with Alzheimer’s should have the option to make an informed choice in partnership with their medical provider and have seamless access to treatment. For people living with Alzheimer’s disease, like those with cancer, any delay in access to treatment can have significant negative medical outcomes. In the case of Alzheimer’s, it is the destruction of brain cells — and the loss of memory and thinking abilities — that they will never get back.
As the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support, and research, the Alzheimer’s Association is focused on supporting people living with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. We are here for them as they face Alzheimer’s disease and all other dementia.
We will continue to work relentlessly to achieve equitable access to quality care including all FDA-approved treatments and diagnostic tests needed during the treatment process for all individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.
About the Alzheimer's Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to lead 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®. Visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900.