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Price Drop for Alzheimer's Treatment

Biogen is cutting the cost of its Alzheimer's disease treatment by half, according to the Associated Press.

The US Food and Drug Administration controversially approved aducanumab (Biogen's Aduhelm) earlier this year, despite questions about whether it works and an FDA advisory panel recommending against its approval. The drug courted further controversy with its list price of $56,000 a year, which NBC News reported could translate to a cost of billions of dollars a year for the US government if the drug was covered by Medicare and to a cost of $11,500 a year for Medicare patients, depending on whether they have supplemental insurance. The AP notes that the cost of Aduhelm accounts for about half of the recent hike in premiums for Medicare Part B, from $148.50 a month to $170.10 a month.

According to the AP, Aduhelm will now have a list price of $28,200. In a statement, Biogen says it is reducing the price with the goal of reducing out-of-pocket costs for patients and the financial burden on the larger healthcare system. "Too many patients are not being offered the choice of Aduhelm due to financial considerations," Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos says.