WASHINGTON — Whether seniors get an unprecedented mid-year discount on Medicare premiums will hinge on a forthcoming decision about how the program will cover a pricey, controversial new Alzheimer’s drug that is expected by mid-April.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said two months ago he wanted to explore lowering the premiums, which saw their largest-ever hike this year in case Medicare spending skyrocketed due to the approval of Aduhelm, which initially cost more than $56,000 for one patient, for one year.
But since the premium hike was announced, Biogen slashed the price of the drug in half, and Medicare also proposed dramatically restricting how many patients could get the drug. Uptake has also been surprisingly slow.
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