CMS coverage decision restricts access to treatments for Alzheimer’s disease

This year’s Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month offers an important opportunity to remember the severe toll that Alzheimer’s takes on patients and family caregivers. Unfortunately, this year also provides a painful reminder that Medicare patients are facing severe access restrictions to the first class of treatments that could change the underlying progression of the disease. In April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) finalized a national coverage determination (NCD) that will, for the first time ever, force Medicare patients into highly restrictive research studies (in some cases involving prospective clinical trials) to gain access to new Alzheimer’s medicines that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe and effective.