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Buchanan: Biden Admin’s CMS Decision Halts Innovation and Cures. America’s Seniors Deserve Better.

June 13, 2022

In a disturbing break with precedent, the Biden Administration and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)’s recently issued a decision to severely restrict coverage of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA-approved) Alzheimer’s treatment, which will chill innovation and limit essential treatments for America’s seniors, Republican Leader on the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) warns in an op-ed.


CLICK HERE to read the full op-ed.


Key Excerpts: 


CMS’s decision restricts access to an entire class of FDA-approved drugs: 


  • “The Biden administration and unelected Washington bureaucrats at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) unilaterally restricted coverage of this potentially life-saving drug and any similar future treatments for all eligible Medicare recipients despite FDA’s approval.”


  • “CMS’s actions limit this treatment’s availability to only those who can afford to buy it out-of-pocket or are participating in a CMS-sanctioned drug trial – a fraction of those eligible.”


Brady & Rogers: Biden’s Unprecedented Overreach Harms Alzheimer’s Patients, Chills Lifesaving Cures


Ways and Means Republicans have been warning that the unprecedented decision by CMS severely limits access to lifesaving cures:


  • “As Republican Leader of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, I have repeatedly called on the Biden administration to abandon their plan to deny Alzheimer’s patients access to this treatment. In March, I led a meeting to discuss CMS’s actions and the devastating effects it will have on the Alzheimer’s community. 


  • “I also sent a letter with my Republican colleagues to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure calling on CMS to rethink this ill-advised decision and consider, if finalized, the harmful impact it would have on seniors and their families.”


READ: Republican Leaders Blast Unprecedented CMS Decision to Severely Limit Access to Lifesaving Cures


The decision will chill investment in high-risk R&D, particularly for Alzheimer’s treatments:


  • “Democrats in Washington have continuously pursued policies that could harm seniors, stifle innovation and move manufacturing overseas, particularly to China.”


  • “America’s seniors deserve better than an administration that undermines innovation and halts progress toward revolutionary cures.”


Key Background: 

  • In a hearing with Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra in April 2022, Ways and Means Republican Leader Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) raised his concerns with the Administration’s decision to ignore the FDA’s “gold standard of approval.” See more highlights from the hearing here.
  • House Republican Leaders on Health issued a joint statement in April 2022 blasting the Biden Administration’s decision to severely restrict coverage of an FDA-approved Alzheimer’s drug.  
  • Ways and Means Republicans held a meeting in March 2022 with experts to examine the devastating decision by Democrats to deny coverage for cures and treatments, and how to promote innovation to bring more cures to Americans at lower costs. 
    • There, experts testified that the Democrats’ decision could “affect the exploration for new treatments for Alzheimer’s for years.”
  • House Republican Leaders on Health wrote to Secretary Becerra in February 2022 urging the Administration not to deny Alzheimer’s patients the treatments they deserve.