But the evidence on whether Biogen’s treatment, called aducanumab, is effective is, at best, mixed; the FDA approved it this week over the objections of its own advisory committee. And with a preliminary announced price of nearly $60,000 annually per patient, covering the treatment could cost upward of $100 billion a year, mostly to Medicare, which would almost double the program’s drug spending. Patients themselves could be on the hook for thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs.
I cannot even express how this frustrates me. Sure, let’s bankrupt Medicare to fund a drug that has not been shown to affect the course of the disease it is supposed to be treating. As if we don’t have enough problems with access to medical care as is, let’s make it worse.