The FDA recently approved Leqembi, a new IV drug treatment for Alzheimers. This treatment potentially slows cognitive decline in individuals with mild, early symptoms. Many are reaching out asking is this ok for my family member?
So what are the important areas to note and consider regarding this new treatment?
Leqembi is not a cure, but a treatment. Leqembi slowed cognitive progression and decline in a clinical trial.
The treatment is only for those with mild, early symptoms and iIndicated for individuals with early Alzheimer's with confirmation of elevated beta-amyloid.
The therapy has not been tested on people with more advanced stages of Alzheimer's or those without clinical symptoms.
The treatment is administered every two weeks through an IV, taking around one hour per infusion. Typically, infusions will be done in conjunction with an infusion therapy center and not at home. .
The treatment is expensive and does have some serious risks of brain swelling and bleeding That needs to be weighed and considered.
The list price of this treatment is $26,500 per year.
Medicare will broadly cover Leqembi for patients enrolled in the program for older Americans, though several conditions may apply.
To be eligible for coverage, patients must be enrolled in Medicare, diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or mild Alzheimer’s disease, and have a doctor who is participating in a data-collection system the federal government has established to monitor the treatment’s benefits and risks- CMS-run registry.
There is no evidence this or any treatment can restore or reverse lost memories or cognitive function due to Alzheimer's disease.
It may take time for physician offices and infusion centers to ramp up this treatment, so be patient when reaching out.
Feel free to reach out if you have questions regarding this, need assistance, finding a participating physician, or would like more information. We are here to help and to guide the way!