Leqembi Treatment Infrastructure: If Medicare Pays For It, They Will Come

Eisai Co., Ltd. and its partner Biogen, Inc. crossed over the biggest barrier in their quest to commercialize Leqembi (lecanemab) now that Medicare will cover the cost of the Alzheimer’s disease drug. The next hurdles for doctors and patients will be obtaining blood tests and PET scans for confirming amyloid pathology in the brain, genetic testing to assess APOE4 status, MRIs to monitor for amyloid-related imaging abnormalities (ARIA) and infusion centers to administer the medicine — facilities that exist, but not in the numbers and locations needed to serve all of the US patients eligible for treatment.

CMS said that it will cover the cost of Leqembi on July 6, the day that the FDA converted the amyloid protofibril-targeting antibody’s accelerated approval for the treatment of mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) into full approval. Eisai and others believe that while uptake of Leqembi will be slow as the health care system catches up with the diagnostic, monitoring and infusion requirements associated with the therapy, Medicare coverage gives providers the confidence they need to offer those services.

© 2024 MMIT
mandy jackson

mandy jackson

Mandy is the managing editor with Scrip and Pink Sheet and reports on daily biopharma developments, writes feature stories and produces Scrip's Finance Watch column. She covers finance, start-ups, dealmaking, clinical trial results, quarterly earnings reports, commercial competition and corporate strategy.

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