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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Alzheimer’s Disease: Why Actuaries Shouldn’t Bet On A Dementia Cure | Insurance News Net

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"There are some promising drugs in the Alzheimer's pipeline, but a panel of experts asked to predict the potential financial impact of new treatments were not optimistic that a cure for the dreaded disease is imminent." notes Stacey Burling, Medical reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The chief medical officer for Humana, told a group of actuaries that he expects to see cancer cures before drug developers figure out how to stop dementia.

Roy Beveridge, an oncologist who is now chief medical officer for the insurer Humana, told a group of actuaries this week in Philadelphia that he expects to see cancer cures before drug developers figure out how to stop dementia.

"We're not spending preparatory time around that," he said when asked about how an Alzheimer's cure would affect the company. "Maybe I should be, but I'm not. I spend much more time thinking about the care issue."

Beveridge was part of a panel discussion at the annual health meeting of the Society of Actuaries, which brought more than a thousand numbers crunchers to the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. Their job is to predict risks and costs. They were treated to workshops with titles like New Topics in Medicare Advantage Risk Adjustment, Updates on NAIC Health RBC Formula and ACA Impact, How Best Practices Became an ASOP.

People with dementia, who can live for years with increasing disability, are especially costly: the United States likely will spend $236 billion this year on their medical care, long-term care and hospice. As one panelist pointed out, however, much of their care is provided -- without pay -- by family members. Because of the aging baby boom generation, the number of people with dementia is likely to nearly triple by 2050 to 13.8 million.

Patricia Danzon, an economist at Penn's Wharton School with a special interest in drug pricing, said 17 dementia drugs are currently in phase III trials and another 60 are in phase II.

Source: Insurance News Net