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Biogen's Alzheimer's drug has not been prescribed widely yet. Photo: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The uptake for Aduhelm, the controversially approved Alzheimer's drug, has been a lot slower than expected as the drug faces "near-term challenges," Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos said at the Morgan Stanley health care conference Thursday.

Between the lines: Physicians want to see Aduhelm's clinical trial data, which has not been published in a medical journal yet, and they want to know how and if they'll be paid for administering the IV drug, which has a $56,000-per-year list price.

What they're saying: "The majority of sites are waiting for clarity on reimbursement," said Alisha Alaimo, the president of Biogen's U.S. operations.

  • Medicare is currently determining whether it will pay for Aduhelm and isn't expected to reach an initial decision until January.
  • Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare's administrative contractors have been paying for the drug in the interim, Alaimo said, but only if Alzheimer's patients meet the more narrow criteria as those who were in the clinical trials.
  • Vounatsos added that the manuscript for the drug's late-stage trial data has been submitted for review to a medical journal, but did not offer details. Biogen already pulled its Aduhelm paper from JAMA.

Go deeper: Biogen's mad there's no hype for its Alzheimer's drug

Go deeper

Nov 13, 2021 - Health

Psilocybin trial reveals drug's efficacy in treating serious depression

Psilocybe mushrooms are shock frozen in liquid nitrogen at the Numinus Bioscience lab in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, in September. Photo: James MacDonald/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The largest-ever study of the psychedelic drug psilocybin revealed Tuesday that the drug is effective in treating serious depression, Stat News reports.

Why it matters: The Compass Pathways study, which is the "largest randomized, controlled, double-blind trial of psilocybin," found that patients who were given the highest dose of the drug had a significant decrease in depressive symptoms as compared to the placebo group, per Stat.

Updated 2 mins ago - Sports

MLB headed for first lockout since '95 as deal expires

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred (L) and Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark. Photo: Matt King/MLB via Getty Images

Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. ET Wednesday without a new deal in place.

Why it matters: With no CBA, the MLB is headed for the first management lockout since a 1994-95 strike led to the cancelation of the World Series for the first time in 90 years.

Media giants back Bannon's bid to release Jan. 6 documents

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon at the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington, DC., in November. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A coalition of news outlets including the Washington Post is supporting Stephen Bannon's campaign for the release of documents related to his contempt of Congress charges, WashPost confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: WashPost, the New York Times, CNN, NBC, the Wall Street Journal's parent company and others filed a motion arguing that a proposed protective order seeking to prevent the documents from being released violates the First Amendment, per the Daily Mail, which first reported on the news.