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Health Highlights, Nov. 9, 2020

By HealthDay Reporter

Below are newsworthy items compiled by the HealthDay staff:

Medicare Outpatient Premium to Rise

The Medicare Part B premium for outpatient care will increase next year, and so will the deductible, Medicare officials announced Friday.

The monthly premium for outpatient care will rise by $3.90 next year to $148.50, which will claim 20% of the average retired worker's Social Security cost-of-living adjustment of $20 a month next year, the Associated Press reported.

Under law, the Part B premium must cover about 25% of the cost of Medicare's supplemental insurance for outpatient services.

There will be a $5 increase in the Part B deductible, bringing it to $203 next year. The inpatient deductible will increase $76 to $1,484, the AP reported.

Panel Recommends Against Approval of Experimental Alzheimer's Drug

An experimental Alzheimer's disease treatment should not be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, an agency advisory panel says.

The panel reviewed clinical data on the drug aducanumab and concluded that there's not enough evidence to support its clinical effectiveness, CNN reported.

The drug, developed by the pharmaceutical company Biogen and its Japanese partner Eisai, is administered through intravenous infusion for early Alzheimer's disease.

"There's a huge danger in approving something that turns out not to be effective," said panel member Dr. Joel Perlmutter said in Friday's meeting, CNN reported.

"If we approve something when the data is not strong, we have a risk of delaying good treatments and effective treatments for more than a couple of years, for many years," Perlmutter said.

The panel's recommendation will be taken into account by the FDA as it decides whether or not to approve the drug. It's been nearly 20 years since the agency approved a new Alzheimer's drug, CNN reported.

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