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WASHINGTON — Medicare on Thursday finalized its plan to restrict coverage for the controversial, pricey Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm to patients participating in clinical trials.

The decision marks the end of an intense pressure campaign from drugmakers and some patient groups who wanted Medicare to reverse its initial proposal and pay for the drug for more patients. As clinical trials are usually run out of major medical centers, the decision will likely mean some interested patients won’t be able to access the drug. However, Medicare isn’t explicitly requiring that patients be treated at hospital-based clinics like the initial proposal.


The decision has implications beyond Aduhelm’s manufacturer, Biogen, as well. The coverage decision is not specific to Aduhelm, and applies to all drugs in the class, including a forthcoming treatment that Eli Lilly has begun to submit for FDA approval.

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