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Medicare Gives Limited Coverage On New Lilly Drug For Alzheimer's


Individuals participating in approved clinical studies may have their costs for brain imaging paid for by Medicare, as long as that imaging uses a Eli Lilly and Co. drug to help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.

Medicare hasn’t given a positive response to the first-of-a-kind imaging chemical but Lilly says they will push it ahead anyway.

Evidence does not show that patients with dementia will benefit from the scan but in some cases it can help diagnose whether a patient has Alzheimer’s.

The test is $3,000 and uses Lilly’s Amyvid imaging agent to trace a brain protein that is linked to Alzheimer’s.

Medicare will reimburse the costs for the scan to patients as long as they are a part of an approved clinical trial for the prevention, treatment or better diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s affects more than 5 million Americans.  The disease attacks the neurons in the brain causing problems with memory, thinking and behavior.  There currently is no cure and scientists are still unsure as to what even causes the disease.