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Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraAction on patient safety will help achieve the health care system we deserveWe need to stop kowtowing to COVID-19 refuseniksLike it or not, all roads forward for Democrats go through Joe ManchinMORE on Monday ordered Medicare to reassess a proposed premium increase after an expensive new Alzheimers drug fell in price.  

Today Im instructing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to reassess the recommendation for the 2022 Medicare Part B premium, given the dramatic price change of the Alzheimers drug, Aduhelm, Becerra said in a statement. With the 50% price drop of Aduhelm on January 1, there is a compelling basis for CMS to reexamine the previous recommendation. 

Medicare had announced in November a steep 14.5 percent increase for 2022 in the monthly premium that millions of seniors have to pay, from $148.50 to $170.10. Part of the reason for that increase was to cover the cost of Aduhelm, a pricey and controversial new Alzheimers drug, made by Biogen.  

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But in late December, Biogen, facing uproar over the $56,000 per year initial Aduhelm price, cut its price to $28,200.  

Medicare may now not need to raise as much money through premium hikes to cover the cost of the drug.  

The Biden administration has been facing pressure from Congress, including from Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSpaceX’s Elon Musk is going into the carbon capture businessDivision reigns over Jan. 6 anniversaryDNC staff votes to unionizeMORE (I-Vt.), to avert the hefty premium increase for seniors.  

There is still a swirl of controversy around the drug. Some experts say there was not sufficient evidence for the Food and Drug Administration to approve it, adding that it is not clear it even works.  

CMS is facing a major decision, set to be announced this month, over whether Medicare will cover Aduhelm, and in what situations, a move that will help decide the drugs fate.