(wagon radio) – A new drug with promising results in slowing memory decline recently received the Food and Drug Administration’s seal of approval – but can anyone afford it?
The FDA has approved an intravenous drug, Rekumbi, for patients with mild dementia and other conditions caused by early Alzheimer’s disease. It is the first drug that has been convincingly proven to work by removing the sticky brain plaques associated with the disease and to moderately slow the cognitive decline caused by Alzheimer’s disease.
However, the price of Lekembi is not cheap. A yearly price for a biweekly IV is approximately $26,500.
Dr. Kevin Most, chief medical officer at Northwestern Central DuPage Hospital, told WGN Radio in an interview, “If you have to pay for it yourself, you’re certainly going to need a lot of money to do it. let’s,” he said.
But recent FDA approval paved the way for Medicare and other insurance companies to cover the drug.
Medicare administrator Chiquita Brooks Rashua said the program will begin paying for the drug now that it has full FDA approval. But the government has also set additional requirements, including registration in the federal registry to track the drug’s actual safety and effectiveness.
“I see this as a chance to prove that this drug really works. , six or seven drugs going forward,” said Dr. Most.
Not everyone with Alzheimer’s disease has access to the drug, even ignoring costs and insurance coverage. Before prescribing Lekhembi, doctors need to make sure the patient has the brain plaques that Lekhembi targets.
“If you look at the 6.5 million people with Alzheimer’s disease, you’re probably going to classify one to two million people as being able or allowed to have Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr. Most said. “Because we’re looking at people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, or mild symptoms, to see if we can stop it while it’s progressing.”
Lekembi drug company Eisai told investors that by 2026, about 100,000 Americans may be diagnosed with Lekembi and eligible for treatment.
Eisai has studied drugs evaluated using scales that measure memory, thinking and other basic skills in patients with early or mild disease. After 18 months, participants who received Rekumbi declined more slowly than those who received the dummy injection, by less than 0.5 points on the scale. Some Alzheimer’s experts say the delay is likely to be so subtle that patients and their families don’t realize it.
Listen to more about Dr. Most in the audio player below.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
https://www.mystateline.com/news/fda-approves-pricy-new-treatment-for-alzheimers-what-you-need-to-know/ FDA Approves Expensive New Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease: What You Need to Know