Rep. Barragán: CMS Alzheimer’s drug decision is ‘a mistake’

Today on the House floor, U.S. Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA) spoke out against the recent Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) decision that will “severely limit access to the only drug shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.”

Earlier in April, CMS announced Medicare would cover breakthrough Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm only for participants in clinical trials—which the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) called an “enormous setback for Alzheimer’s patients and an unprecedented and dangerous infringement on the FDA’s scientific autonomy and decision making.”

“I think their decision is a mistake.”



Rep. Barragán recounted her mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s—a story that is not unique, she said, with 6 million people (and counting) in the United States suffering from Alzheimer’s.

“This is an access issue,” she continued. “People who have money and can pay for it will get the drug. People who are under a CMS program will not.”

But she offered hope for patients: “I am not done. I stand with you. And I will continue to fight for you,” Rep. Barragán concluded.

Read: Aduhelm decision will ‘chill’ innovation, say BIO experts

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