West Health Statement on CMS Aduhelm National Coverage Determination


January 12, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – West Health Chief Executive Officer, Shelley Lyford, issued the following statement regarding the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) draft national coverage determination for Aduhelm, the controversial Alzheimer’s treatment. West Health is a family of nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations dedicated to lowering healthcare costs to improve aging in America.

“Alzheimer’s is a terrible and heartbreaking disease that has its hold on more than six million American families. However, in our deep desire to treat this disease, we must proceed with caution. Overly prescribing a drug, like Aduhelm, comes with significant clinical and financial side effects for patients. We commend the decision by CMS to limit the coverage of the drug to those patients who both meet the criteria of medical necessity and agree to enroll in ongoing clinical trials to assess the drug’s true effectiveness, a critical step needed to inform future use and coverage decisions. This decision promotes transparency in a process that has been riddled with controversy and will protect patients from receiving a therapy where the current benefits may not outweigh the clinical and financial toxicity associated with this intervention.”

Last summer, West Health Policy Center joined other experts in the field in calling for CMS to generate a national coverage determination.