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Cuyahoga County doctor, family see promise in new Alzheimer's medication, but express concerns over current costs

Leqembi received approval from the FDA on Friday, but remains cost prohibitive and still not covered by Medicare.

CLEVELAND — Bill Herzog knows how important every moment with your loved one battling Alzheimer's is. His wife was diagnosed at 55 and lived with it for nine years.

"You certainly realize how much you miss the individual when they're gone," Herzog said, "and I can tell you, the more time you have with your loved one, we all know where Alzheimer's is going to lead us."

Herzog says new medications like the one approved today by the FDA provide hope, with the end goal being a cure, but he has some concerns about it being cost prohibitive and not currently covered by Medicare.

"Getting legislation to get people access to these drugs is crucial," Herzog stated.

Dr. Alan Lerner of University Hospitals shares the same concern about the treatment currently being cost prohibitive, and says patients interested in the new medication should get ready to do a lot of testing before beginning the infusion.

"We would have to do a significant amount of testing to make sure they have early Alzheimer's disease and not other causes of memory loss such as stroke, infection, brain tumor," Lerner told 3News.

Herzog believes there are so many families that would do what it takes to get this medication if it means a few more months of memory for a loved one.

"It's so important for the families who are going to face this issue," he said. "Unfortunately I don't know anybody who hasn't been affected by it."

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