With its Aduhelm proposal, Medicare is stepping into a heated debate about how best to improve equity in Alzheimer’s treatment

WASHINGTON — Medicare’s proposal to restrict access to a controversial Alzheimer’s drug has quickly reignited a long-simmering debate over how best to address the long-standing, systemic inequities in Alzheimer’s care experienced by Black and Hispanic patients.

Medicare on Tuesday put forth a draft plan to only cover Aduhelm for patients enrolled in a randomized clinical trial. Biogen, the company behind the drug, and major Alzheimer’s patient groups all panned the proposal, saying it would make it harder for vulnerable populations to access the medicine. The Alzheimer’s Association called it “shocking discrimination.”

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