Leqembi could cost Medicare up to $17.8B

Leqembi, the newly-approved drug that can slow the progression of Alzhemier's disease, will cost Medicare billions each year, according to an analysis from KFF. 

The analysis, published July 6, compared how much the drug could cost the program, based on uptake rate. 

The FDA approved the drug July 6. Medicare will cover the drug for patients under certain conditions, requiring prescribing providers to participate in a registry documenting the drug's effectiveness. 

Eisai and Biogen, the manufacturer of Leqembi, estimated around 100,000 individuals will be prescribed the drug by year three of its approval. At this rate of uptake, it would cost Medicare $2.7 billion each year, KFF found. 

Some consider Eisai's 100,000 estimate conservative, according to KFF's analysis. At 335,000 users, the drug would cost Medicare $8.9 billion annually. If 670,000 people are prescribed the drug, it would cost $17.8 billion. 

Leqembi costs $26,500 per patient annually. 

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