Alzheimer’s Patients, Clinicians, Industry Representatives Urge Better Access to PET Scans

Alzheimer’s Patients, Clinicians, Industry Representatives Urge Better Access to PET Scans
Physicians, industry representatives, and Alzheimer’s disease patients urged lawmakers in Washington to pass legislation they say will improve access to amyloid positron imaging tomography (PET) scans for the diagnosis, research and treatment of Alzheimer's. The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance(MITA), the Council on Radionuclides and Radiopharmaceuticals, and the Society of Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging hosted a briefing in support of the Medicare Diagnostic Radiopharmaceutical Payment Equity Act of 2019, which would expand reimbursement to hospitals using diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals. Currently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that administers the major U.S. healthcare programs, includes radiopharmaceuticals as part of a package cost of the outpatient procedure. The lack of reimbursement discourages hospitals from using radiopharmaceuticals, limiting access and innovation, advocates say. Sue Bunning, MITA’s industry director of molecular imaging and PET, called the legislation "critical for the millions of Alzheimer’s patients who deserve access to these groundbreaking diagnostic tools.” Radiochemicals are compounds prepared with radioactive elements that are used for medical applications, such as tracers in PET scans. In a PET scan, a small amount of radioactive materials, a special camera, and a computer are used to show how tissues and organs are functioning. At the briefing, Geri and Jim Taylor shared their story about Geri’s Alzheimer's diagnosis, which was confirmed through a PET scan. That led to her participation in a Biogen clinical trial. Now, the couple advocates for Alzheimer’s clinical study participation, which hinges on PET imaging access. “Only when my amyloid PET
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.