Boise – Attorney General Raúl Labrador is calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide coverage for a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that has been proven to delay the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.
In an April 26 letter, Attorney General Labrador and 25 other attorneys general asked CMS to provide full and unrestricted Medicare coverage for FDA-approved Alzheimer’s treatments, consistent with its decades-long practice of covering FDA-approved prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries.
“Medicare covers FDA-approved treatments for Medicare recipients with deadly diseases like cancer, strokes, and heart disease. Shockingly, CMS refuses to cover treatments for Alzheimer’s patients. This disease, like others, is devastating to patients and their families. Furthermore, families already dealing with the trauma of Alzheimer’s should not be burdened by the cost of treating them. CMS has an obligation to help our elderly fight this disease,” Attorney General Labrador said.
The treatment specified by attorneys general in the letter is FDA-approved monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against amyloid to help Alzheimer’s patients. Currently, CMS will only cover mAbs when it is administered through clinical trials or other studies.
“This decision creates a barrier to care for older Americans, especially individuals living in rural and underserved areas that are unlikely to be served by institutions administering clinical trials,” states the letter.
The full letter can be read here. In addition to Attorney General Labrador, the request includes a coalition of bipartisan attorneys general from Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.