In June of 2022, my father, Van Harrington Jr., died from complications of frontotemporal degeneration/dementia (FTD). When he passed, I was 40-years-old, but I lost him shortly after graduating from college. After three misdiagnoses because he was “too young” for dementia to be taken into account, his disease had progressed significantly. He left behind a wife, four children, and four grandchildren that he only got to spend time with as “himself” when they were babies.

In January the Food and Drug Administration approved Lecanemab, now known as Leqembi, using the accelerated approval pathway. After strong clinical trials, leading Alzheimer’s researchers agree this treatment changes the course of the disease in a meaningful way for people with early Alzheimer’s. But because of the decision the Center for Medical & Medicare Services has put in place, Medicare will not cover this treatment. CMS has never imposed such drastic barriers to access FDA-approved drugs, especially for people facing a fatal disease. People who are living with Alzheimer’s and their doctors should be able to decide if an FDA-approved treatment is right for them, and that treatment should be covered by Medicare.

Contact Bobby Burns at and 329.9572.