The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Linda Benesch,

CMS Aduhelm Decision Shows Need for Medicare to Negotiate Lower Drug Prices

The following is a statement from


The following is a statement from Alex Lawson, Executive Director of Social Security Works, on the decision from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that Medicare limit coverage of Aduhelm:

"After massive public outrage, CMS has made the correct decision. Aduhelm is ineffective and causes serious side effects. People with Alzheimer's and their families need investment in real treatments, not false hope peddled by pharmaceutical companies who only care about raking in enormous profits.

CMS's decision is a victory for seniors, and for public health. Now, Medicare must significantly lower this year's premium increase, as Secretary Xavier Becerra called for yesterday, and reimburse beneficiaries for already paid premiums.

That said, it is a travesty that seniors spent months living in fear of a huge Medicare premium increase. The Food and Drug Administration should never have approved Aduhelm in the first place. Just like they never should have approved Vioxx or OxyContin.

But as long as Big Pharma companies are allowed to charge whatever they want for prescription drugs, they will keep hunting for the next "blockbuster drug." And they will do whatever they can (including buying off politicians with campaign donations and buying off regulators with promises of a future lobbying job) to get it approved.

That's why Congress must finally give Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices, and remove Big Pharma's perverse incentives. That starts with passing the Build Back Better Act into law."

Social Security Works' mission is to: Protect and improve the economic security of disadvantaged and at-risk populations; Safeguard the economic security of those dependent, now or in the future, on Social Security; and Maintain Social Security as a vehicle of social justice.