If you could invest $56 billion each year in improving health care for older adults, how would you spend it?
KHN.org 07/06/2021: Paying Billions for Controversial Alzheimer’s Drug? How About Funding This Inste...
Excerpts from the link above:
This isn’t an abstract question. Aduhelm, a new Alzheimer’s drug approved by the FDA last month, could be prescribed to 1 million to 2 million patients a year, even if conservative criteria were used.
The total annual price tag would come to $56 billion if the average list price, $56,000, is applied to the lower end of the companies’ estimate.
The FDA has acknowledged it’s not clear whether the medication will actually slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease or by how much.
Since most Alzheimer’s patients are older and on Medicare, the medication would become a significant financial burden on the federal government and beneficiaries. Several experts warn that outlays for aducanumab, marketed as Aduhelm, could drive up premiums for Medicare Part B and Medicare supplemental policies and raise out-of-pocket expenses.
A likely additional cost: lost opportunities to invest in other improvements in care for older adults. If Medicare and Medicaid must absorb drug spending of this magnitude, other priorities are less likely to receive attention.
Asked to dozen of experts — geriatricians, economists, health policy specialists — how they would spend an extra $56 billion a year. Their answers highlight significant gaps in care for older adults. Here’s some of what they suggested. [each of these are discussed in more detail in the KHN.or article.
- Make Medicare more affordable.
- Pay for vision, hearing and dental care
- Support family caregivers
- Strengthen long-term care
- Help people age in place
- Find out what older adults need
- Focus on prevention [of dementia]
- Invest in social determinants of health
Are any of these (or combination) your particular pick or something else? $ 56 BILLION is a lot of money just for one, questionable success rate, drug.
For more info on the drug - see my previous post here:
AARP.org - Community Medicare and Insurance Board 06/07/2021 - New Alzheimer's Drug
It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna