WASHINGTON, D.C., May 1, 2023
— A bipartisan group of attorneys general
from 26 states and territories are calling on the Biden administration to stop blocking access to Alzheimer’s treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The bipartisan group sent a letter urging Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to reverse the unprecedented decision to block access
to FDA-approved Alzheimer's drugs. Despite mounting bipartisan political pressure
, CMS continues to deny Medicare beneficiaries living with early Alzheimer's access to critically important, FDA-approved medical treatments.
“The Alzheimer’s Association is deeply grateful to those like the 26 bipartisan attorneys general, who are standing up for the Alzheimer’s community and demanding CMS reverse its unjust decision blocking access to FDA-approved Alzheimer’s treatments,” said Robert Egge, chief public policy officer of the Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer's Impact Movement (AIM) executive director. “Medicare covers all FDA-approved drugs for every other disease. CMS’ policy is disease discrimination, and it must end.”
Every day matters for those impacted by early Alzheimer’s. Each day CMS blocks access, more than 2,000 people transition to a more advanced stage of Alzheimer’s where they are no longer eligible for treatment. Treatments taken in the early stages of Alzheimer’s would allow people more time to participate in daily life, remain independent and make health care decisions for their future.
This was not the first showing of broad bipartisan support for this issue. Last week, during CMS Administrator Brooks-LaSure’s testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, members from both sides of the aisle
forcefully called into question why CMS has determined that people living with Alzheimer’s should be treated differently. In March, during Secretary Becerra’s budget testimony before the House
and the Senate
, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle urged Secretary Becerra for his support in reversing CMS’ unprecedented decision.
In February, Reps. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) led 72 of their bipartisan colleagues in sending a letter
to Secretary Becerra and Administrator Brooks-LaSure emphasizing the importance of access to FDA-approved Alzheimer’s treatments. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) also led a bipartisan letter
in the Senate, signed by 20 bipartisan leaders.
In March, Alzheimer’s advocates from all 50 states, including people living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend the 2023 AIM Advocacy Forum. They rallied outside the White House and held hundreds of meetings on Capitol Hill to demand a reversal of the Biden administration’s decision to deny people living with Alzheimer’s access to FDA-approved drugs.
“The Alzheimer’s Association will relentlessly advocate until people with early Alzheimer’s have access to the FDA-approved Alzheimer’s treatments they need and deserve,” said Egge. “We thank bipartisan leaders at the state and federal level for taking action to reverse this unjustified CMS policy and for their longstanding commitment to the Alzheimer’s community.”
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.
Alzheimer’s Impact Movement
The Alzheimer's Impact Movement (AIM) is a separately incorporated advocacy affiliate of the Alzheimer's Association. AIM works to develop and advance policies to overcome Alzheimer's disease through increased investment in research, enhanced care and improved support. For more information, visit alzimpact.org.