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Medicare to broaden coverage for new Alzheimer’s drugs after full approval

(Reuters) – The U.S. Medicare health plan will broaden coverage for new Alzheimer’s drugs such as Eisai Co Ltd and Biogen Inc’s Leqembi if they gain full U.S. approval, a federal agency said on Thursday.

Currently, Medicare, the government health plan for Americans 65 and over, will only pay for Alzheimer’s disease drugs approved under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s rigorous accelerated review if patients are enrolled in a clinical trial.

Broader Medicare coverage would begin on the same day the FDA grants traditional approval, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said.

Leqembi received accelerated approval from the FDA earlier this year and a decision on full approval is due by July 6.

Eli Lilly is also developing an Alzheimer’s drug that targets amyloid brain plaques, similar to Eisai and Biogen’s Leqembi.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra and Leroy D’souza in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai and Shounak Dasgupta)


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