Chicago, March 13, 2023 — The Alzheimer’s Association applauds the decision by the U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to provide coverage of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved lecanemab (Leqembi). We appreciate the agency’s thoughtful approach to making this decision.
“This is an important step toward access to medically necessary and beneficial treatments for people living with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s, a fatal disease,” said Joanne Pike, DrPH, Alzheimer’s Association president and CEO. “Each day matters to someone living with early stage Alzheimer’s when it comes to slowing the progression of this disease and for our nation’s veterans living with Alzheimer’s, today is a good day.”
In sharp contrast, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to ignore the needs of their beneficiaries living with Alzheimer’s. Each day CMS blocks access to treatment, more than 2,000 individuals aged 65 or older transition from mild dementia due to Alzheimer’s to a more advanced stage of the disease where they are no longer eligible. Treatments taken in the early stages of Alzheimer’s would allow people more time to participate in daily life, remain independent and make health care decisions for their future.
While the Alzheimer’s Association does not agree with all elements of the VHA’s criteria for use, we commend the Biden Administration for this important action today on behalf of veterans living with Alzheimer’s and their families.