Representative Vern Buchanan’s (R-FL) Mandating Exclusive Review of Individual Treatments (MERIT) Act has passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee and will likely find its way to the House Floor.
The bill is designed to “help ensure coverage of potentially life-saving drugs and new treatments for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease,” according to Rep. Buchanan’s press release.
Despite approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) restricted coverage for Aduhelm, a “first-of-its-kind” treatment for Alzheimer’s.
Rep. Buchanan disagrees with this decision.
“The federal government should make it easier for seniors to access breakthrough treatments, not unreasonably restrict potentially life-changing drugs for our nation’s most vulnerable patients,” said Buchanan. “Unfortunately, the Biden administration and unelected bureaucrats in Washington have continuously pursued policies that will stifle innovation and halt progress toward revolutionary cures. That is why I am so pleased to see this important legislation pass out of committee and come one step closer to becoming law.”
Robert Egge – chief public policy officer of the Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) executive director – thanked Buchanan for his efforts.
“Individual Alzheimer’s treatments act differently, even if they achieve similar end results. Thank you to Representatives Buchanan and Barragán for their leadership on the bipartisan MERIT Act, which will ensure that CMS evaluates treatments individually and based on their own merits, rather than as a broad class of drugs. As new treatments are approved, the millions of Americans living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia cannot afford delays,” said Egge.
The MERIT ACT is a bipartisan bill introduced alongside Congresswoman Nanette Barragán (D-CA). According to Buchanan’s press release, it has been endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, Association of Mature American Citizens, Byrd Alzheimer’s Center and Research Institute, and the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation.
In October, Buchanan railed against President Joe Biden's (D) inadequacies and his administration’s policy concerning the southern border. Figures from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) demonstrated that 169 people on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) watchlist have been arrested at the border, with 18 of them coming in September alone.