WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 29, 2023 – Today, the Biden Administration released the first list of 10 drugs for Medicare price negotiation, including Imbruvica, a cancer drug used to treat certain types of leukemia and lymphoma.
The below is a statement on behalf of Lisa Lacasse, President of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) reacting to the announcement.
“We remain supportive of the Administration in taking a critical step to ensure prescription drugs are affordable for all cancer patients. Affordability is a leading barrier for many with cancer who face some of the highest disease costs.
“It is imperative that policies that promote affordability continue to similarly prioritize innovation. Cancer spans over 200 diseases and our understanding of the biology of cancer continues to grow at a rapid pace. This enhanced understanding requires careful consideration of the long-term impact of negotiation on research and innovation, particularly for rare cancer types.
“As the negotiation process for these drugs continues, we continue to urge CMS to carefully balance the need to lower the costs of drugs offered through Medicare with preserving patient access to new, improved therapies by monitoring access issues, closely assessing impact on launch prices and cancer research trends and making these analyses public to inform all stakeholders. Furthermore, Medicare enrollees taking Imbruvica should benefit from a price negotiation ensuring they pay less for negotiated drugs than they were previously paying.
“Ensuring affordability while at the same time investing in innovation and cancer discovery are critical to address the unmet needs in cancer care and provide patients the access to the specific drug that best treats their unique cancer.”