5 recent updates on Aduhelm

Biogen's Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm remains one of the most controversial topics in the pharmaceutical industry, as questions about safety, effectiveness and whether Medicare will cover the treatment remain unanswered. Here are five updates about the drug from the past three months:

  1. Several health systems and insurers recently indicated they would not cover or offer Aduhelm, a list that includes the Department of Veterans Affairs, Boston-based Mass General Brigham and eight Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates.

  2. Biogen reported $300,000 in Aduhelm sales in its third-quarter financial report released Oct. 20. At a price of $56,000 per year, this is much less than many analysts expected.

  3. Biogen on Nov. 8 launched an investigation into the death of a 75-year-old patient potentially linked to Aduhelm.

  4. CMS announced Nov. 13 Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles will see the largest hike in the program's history next year. The agency said one of the key reasons for this is the potential need to cover the high cost of Aduhelm. 

  5. Biogen said Nov. 15 that its head of research and development, Alfred Sandrock, MD, PhD, will leave the company after 23 years. He is the drugmaker's top scientist and led its yearslong effort to develop and commercialize Aduhelm.

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