Study estimates Alzheimer’s treatment on Lekambi could cost Medicare up to $5 billion a year


The Alzheimer’s drug Lekembi can be seen in this undated handout image obtained by Reuters on January 20, 2023.

Christian | reuters

New Alzheimer’santibody treatment Lakenby Medicare could cost up to $5 billion a year research Published this week in a leading medical journal.

If approximately 85,700 patients test positive for the disease and are treated, it would cost Medicare approximately $2 billion per year. Christian And biogen products, according to research published Thursday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

According to the study, if about 216,500 patients become eligible for the breakthrough treatment, the program for seniors would cost $5 billion.

The authors noted that the estimated costs to Medicare are conservative and that spending on Lekembi may increase more than anticipated based on demand and other factors.

Researchers conducting the JAMA study included physicians and Public health and policy expert. He is affiliated with the University of California Los Angeles, the RAND Corporation, Harvard Medical School, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, among other institutions.

Eisai and Biogen set twice monthly price antibody infusion at $26,500 per year.

According to the researchers, additional annual costs per patient associated with neurologist visits, MRI tests and PET scans, administration of infusions and monitoring and treatment of potential side effects are estimated at $7,300.

The study assumed Medicare would cover 80% of the cost, with patients paying all or part of the remaining 20%, depending on whether they had supplemental insurance.

Patients could face an annual bill of around $6,600 per year, depending on the state they live in and whether they have supplemental insurance, according to the study. Some low-income people who qualify for Medicare and Medicaid will pay nothing out of pocket.

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The Alzheimer’s Association, which advocates on behalf of patients with the disease, estimates that Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia will cost US$345 billion this year. According to the association, these costs could rise to $1 trillion by 2050.

“This is the case without treatment. Prevention and treatment are the only ways to reduce this cost over time,” Robert Egg, the association’s head of public policy, said in a statement.

“But it’s not the cost that determines whether people have access to life-improving care — it’s about the impact on people,” Egg said. “Treatment done in the early stages of Alzheimer’s can mean a better quality of life.”

The results of a clinical trial published in January in the New England Journal of Medicine showed Lakenby had a positive effect on patients with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

The expensive treatment is currently unavailable to most patients because Medicare severely restricts coverage of antibodies.

Medicare has promised it will provide comprehensive coverage to Lakenby if the FDA gives full approval to the treatment in July. Lakenby received early approval from the Food and Drug Administration in January.

Alzheimer’s Associationmembers of Congress and state attorney general are pushing to lift their restrictions on Medicare and fully cover Lakenby.

The antibody treatment, which targets the brain plaques associated with the disease, slowed cognitive decline by 27% in Christian’s clinical trial.

There is no other drug currently on the market that has demonstrated this level of efficacy in slowing Alzheimer’s disease. Eli Lilly’S donanemab Earlier this month, the clinical trial demonstrated promising results. The company plans to apply for full FDA approval this quarter.

Both Lekenbi and donanumab carry a serious risk of brain swelling and bleeding.

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