The affordability of lecanemab, an amyloid-targeting therapy for Alzheimer's disease: an EADC-EC viewpoint

Elsevier, The Lancet Regional Health - Europe, Volume 29, June 2023
Jonsson L., Wimo A., Handels R., Johansson G., Boada M., Engelborghs S. et al.

Lecanemab, an anti-amyloid antibody with effects on biomarker and clinical endpoints in early Alzheimer's Disease (AD), was granted accelerated approval by the FDA in 2023 and regulatory review in Europe is ongoing. We estimate the population potentially eligible for treatment with lecanemab in the 27 EU countries to 5.4 million individuals. Treatment costs would exceed 133 billion EUR per year if the drug is priced similarly as in the United States, amounting to over half of the total pharmaceutical expenditures in the EU. This pricing would be unsustainable; the ability to pay for high-priced therapies varies substantially across countries. Pricing similarly to what has been announced for the United States may place the drug out of reach for patients in some European countries. Disparities in access to novel amyloid-targeting agents may further deepen the inequalities across Europe in health outcomes. As representatives of the European Alzheimer's Disease Consortium Executive Committee, we call for pricing policies that allow eligible patients across Europe to access important innovations, but also continued investments in research and development. Infrastructure to follow up the usage of new therapies in routine care and new payment models may be needed to address affordability and inequalities in patient access.