House Panels Launch Investigation Into Alzheimer’s Drug Pricing and Approval
Health Care

House Panels Launch Investigation Into Alzheimer’s Drug Pricing and Approval

Brian Snyder/Reuters

Two House committees announced Friday that they are launching an investigation into the controversial approval and pricing of Biogen’s new $56,000-a-year Alzheimer’s drug.

“We have serious concerns about the steep price of Biogen’s new Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm and the process that led to its approval despite questions about the drug’s clinical benefit,” Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said in a statement. Pallone chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee while Maloney leads the Oversight and Reform Committee.

The Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the drug earlier this month, despite a lack of evidence that Aduhelm slows the progression of dementia, raised a storm of controversy, as did the drug’s pricing, which could lead to billions of dollars a year in additional costs for Medicare. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that if 1 million Medicare beneficiaries take the drug, the cost to Medicare could be higher than $57 billion a year, or some $20 billion more than Medicare spent on all physician-administered drugs in 2019.

“Our Committees will be investigating this matter so Congress and the American people can better understand why this drug was approved, how Biogen set its price and what impact this will have on research for future Alzheimer’s treatments and federal health care programs,” Pallone and Maloney said.

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