Payers Are Reluctant to Offer Commercial Coverage for Alzheimer’s Drug Leqembi

When the FDA in July granted full approval to the Alzheimer’s drug Leqembi (lecanemab), CMS followed with a swift announcement that Medicare will cover it — although just for people with a specific diagnosis who have a physician willing to participate in a qualifying clinical registry. However, payers so far seem reluctant to cover the drug for their commercially insured populations, which represent a smaller but still important portion of the addressable market for Leqembi.

Two Pennsylvania-based insurers — Highmark Inc. and Independence Blue Cross — are taking heat for deciding not to cover the drug for their commercial members. A Philadelphia-area neurology practice recently sent them a critical open letter that claims the insurers are wrong to deem Leqembi “experimental.”

© 2024 MMIT
Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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