Alzheimer's is a progressive disease that destroys memory function and other important mental functions. The symptoms of Alzheimer's eventually grow so severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. It is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities; the disease itself accounts for 60 to 80% of dementia cases. Alzheimer's itself again is a progressive disease and the symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. Individuals can be known to lose their ability to carry on a conversation and respond to things going on in their environment. Alzheimer's is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States with on average a person with Alzheimer's lives for 28 years after diagnosis but can live longer depending on other factors. Unfortunately, Alzheimer's has no cure but it does have treatments and therapies that can help. That all being said, some of the treatments and drugs used to help lessen some of those symptoms have caused a large spike in Medicare prices.
Unfortunately, officials said Friday that the new Alzheimer's drug is responsible for a good half of that. This increase in PEI has practically guaranteed that healthcare will gobble up a big chunk of the recently-announced Social Security cost-of-living allowance. That allowance had worked out a $92 a month for the average retired worker and intended to help cover the skyrocketing prices for food and gas for seniors. All of this increase is partially due to a contingency plan in case Medicare has to cover the new $56,000 a year Alzheimer's drug. The only reason they would have to pay for this truck is that it is administered in a doctor's office and would have to be paid for under Part B. The other half of the premium increase is due to the growth of Medicare and adjustments made by Congress last year during the pandemic.
The problem with the drug spiking prices is that it is now turning into a study of how a pricey medication for a condition causing millions of people damage can impact household budgets. Seniors who are not affected by Alzheimer's or diagnosed would not be shielded from the cost of the drug; it is still big enough to affect their premiums. The latest compromise with the government Medicare would not be able to negotiate prices for newly launched drugs. Though this news on the price increase on medicare premiums could reopen that debate among the government.
Aduhelm Is the drug in question approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. The drug itself is not a cure; the agency determined that its ability to reduce clumps of plaque in the brain is likely to help slow down dementia. But many experts say that the benefit has not been clearly demonstrated. ICare has begun trial assessments to figure out whether or not it should cover the cost of the drug and a final decision will not be likely figured out until at least spring of next year. For now, Medicare decides on a case-by-case basis whether to pay for the drug. Just due to the questions about the effectiveness of the drug cost enters into Medicare coverage determinations. As of last November, an FDA advisory panel voted unanimously against recommending the Drug's approval stating flaws in company studies.
The backlash of the drug is still being approved by the FDA so many members of the panel resign over the objection of the drug. Again the drug has unproven benefits and based upon that a nonprofit drug pricing Peg the drug between $3000 and $8400 per year, not 56000 dollars. The company that makes the drug says it expects a gradual uptake of the drug and not a scenario in which the cost of the drug would take off. Undo last Medicare officials have told reporters they have to plan for contingencies with the medication. The drug itself is risky and is under investigation by 2 house committees including the contracts between company Executives and FDA regulators. All comes from the agency probing whether officials in the agency met with Representatives of Biogen which makes Aduhelm. Though the company says they don't see a situation where the cost of the drugs taking off the drug did generate 1.6 million dollars in revenue for the Swiss drugmaker in June alone but is projected to bring in billions as more doctors prescribe the drug.
Democrats see this news and think that it shows the need to get drug prices under control. Pointing to Provisions in President Biden's build back better plan to lower drug cost. The skyrocketing of drug prices not only makes it harder for seniors to afford the life-saving drugs that they need but also helps Drive up their health care premiums for other outpatient care and doctor visits. We are just at a standstill now of figuring out whether the prices skyrocketing is going to help or harm and it is leaning more on harm. All we can do is sit and wait till spring to figure out what medicare's next step is.