WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 5, 2022 — Today, the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation (GAP) applauds and vigorously supports Congressmembers Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA) for bringing forward a new bill to help ensure coverage of potentially life-saving drugs and new treatments for Medicare beneficiaries, including access to approved Alzheimer’s treatments.
The bill — known as the “Mandating Exclusive Review of Individual Treatments (MERIT) Act” — clarifies Medicare’s national coverage determination (NCD) process and aims to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act.
“We strongly support the Members’ proposed changes to Medicare’s NCD process. The changes are needed to avoid unwarranted bureaucratic delays and ensure access to new therapies for patients with Alzheimer’s or other life-threatening diseases,” said John Dwyer, GAP president.
If passed, the bill would add a new sentence stating that determinations should be made with respect to each drug or biological, not with respect to a class of drugs or biologicals. In practice, this will cut down on the red tape that all patients, including people with Alzheimer’s, must wade through to access therapies and drugs.
In announcing the bill, Congressman Buchanan said, “In an unprecedented move, earlier this year unelected bureaucrats at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) unilaterally restricted coverage for the first new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (Aduhelm) in nearly two decades, despite prior approval from scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In doing so, CMS cast a very wide net by restricting coverage of any similar drugs in its class.”
As a leading nonprofit focused on saving and changing the lives of those with Alzheimer’s disease, GAP calls on Congress to pass this important bill.
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About GAP Foundation
The Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation® (GAP) is a patient-centered nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the delivery of innovative therapies for neurological disorders by reducing the duration and cost of clinical trials. Over 100 research centers around the world are part of the growing GAP Network (GAP-Net).