Medicare doesn’t reduce its 2022 premium hike even as use of Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug is sharply curtailed

The prospect of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) paying for Biogen’s controversial Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm opened up a multi-billion-dollar can of worms late last year that CMS now says it won’t right until 2023, leaving the agency with little explanation for major premium and deductible increases for seniors this year.

Back in November 2021, CMS explained that Medicare Part B will have to increase its standard monthly premium — from $148.50 in 2021 to $170.10 in 2022 — in part because of the massive spending that could occur should the agency sign off on a national coverage decision for Aduhelm, and its $56,000 annual price tag next year.

Since then, Biogen slashed the price of Aduhelm in half, but saw CMS’ restrictive national coverage decision for Aduhelm finalized, meaning the amyloid-targeted drug will only be used in clinical trials and won’t be covered by commercial…
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