CENTRAL TEXAS – The Alzheimer’s Association is angry over a decision made by Medicare to limit a new drug approved by the FDA to help Alzheimer’s patients.

The drug, called Aduhelm, is the first treatment approved in the U.S. to slow cognitive decline.

“There is no cure. There’s no slow down. No prevention. And nobody, and I mean like family-wise, should have to go through that. It’s horrible,” said Melody Lee, Alzheimer’s Ambassador (TX) District 17, 22, 56, 59.

The Alzheimer’s Disease lives in 400,000 Texans.

“You go backwards as far as your thinking goes, you know, your brain reverts back,” said Lee.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services say it is covering Aduhelm for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease, but only to those participating in clinical trials – something the Alzheimer’s Association says is cutting out a significant number of people.

“Americans that are living with Alzheimer’s Disease, we believe they are entitled to these therapies as they become available. Just like those with cancer, heart disease, HIV, AIDS,” said Sydney Thomas, Alzheimer’s Association North Central & West Texas Chapters.

For Melody Lee, the wife of FOX 44 General Manager Mike Lee, this disease hits close to home.

“My mother had it. Also, my mother-in-law had it. And my husband’s aunt. I mean, we think now looking back, my grandfather had it on my mother’s side. My uncle on my maw-maw’s side had it,” said Lee.

In a statement, Alzheimer’s Association CEO Harry Johns calls this draft decision a “shocking discrimination against everyone with Alzheimer’s Disease.”

“They want to put only people that can do trials, like pay for them or partially pay for them, to have the drug. It’s very expensive. You do it, like, every four weeks, and it can cause $2,000 every time,” said Lee.

Medicare made the announcement earlier this month saying, “When making national coverage determinations, we evaluate the evidence related to our analytic questions based on the quality, strength and totality of evidence presented in the reviewed literature.”

FILE – This image provided by Biogen on Monday, June 7, 2021 shows a vial and packaging for the drug Aduhelm. On Thursday, July 8, 2021, U.S. health regulators approved new prescribing instructions for the controversial Alzheimer’s drug that are likely to limit use of the expensive therapy, which has faced an intense public backlash. (Biogen via AP, File)

“Medicare is asking people to pay premiums for treatment, a fatal disease, and they may not actually receive an FDA-approved treatment,” said Thomas.

If approved, the draft decision could blanket all future Alzheimer’s drugs.

“If this decision is approved, that means it’s not just affecting Aduhelm. It implies to that entire class of drugs treating amyloids,” added Thomas.

Medicare is now waiting on a 30-day public comment period to finalize the decision in April.

“Don’t make it so exclusive. Make it where it’s available to these different people. To the different nationalities, to the different sexes,” said Lee.