2021-11-20 22:47:59 UTC
That's exactly what is happening.
Aduhelm, which is priced at $56,000 a year, is one of the key factors driving a major increase in Medicare Part B premiums for 2022, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The standard monthly payment will soar to $170.10, up from $148.50 this year, the agency announced late Friday.
About $10 of the premium spike is due to Aduhelm, a CMS official told CNN.
The Biden administration is using the premium surge to push for allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
"This absolutely shows the need for prescription drug pricing reform," the CMS official said. "We have rising costs of drugs, and this is the impact of that."
Congressional Democrats are currently working out the final details of their $1.9 trillion budget reconciliation package that would empower Medicare to negotiate prices of certain costly medications administered in doctors' offices or purchased at the pharmacy.
The Health and Human Services secretary would negotiate up to 10 drugs in 2025. The number would rise to up to 20 medications starting in 2028. This controversial provision, which was dropped from the package and then restored after a deal was reached in the Senate, is a far more limited proposal than the one House Democratic leaders have backed in the past.
If a million Medicare patients receive the drug, spending on Aduhelm would exceed $57 billion a year -- far surpassing spending on all other Part B-covered drugs combined, Kaiser said in a June report. Also, that's roughly the same amount that Medicare paid for all hospital outpatient services in 2019.
By the mid-2020s, Aduhelm could constitute more than 1% of all national health spending and could increase total drug spending by more than 8%, according to a June estimate by Altarum, a nonprofit research and consulting group.'