CMS Should Ensure Medicare Drug Price Negotiations Benefit Cancer Patients and Protect Access to Innovative Cancer Therapies

ACS and ACS CAN Issue Letter with Recommendations in Response to the first Selection of a Cancer Drug for Medicare Price Negotiation

September 15, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C.September 15, 2023 – Today, The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) offering recommendations that are unique to cancer to consider when implementing the negotiation provision of the Inflation Reduction Act. The Administration included IMBRUVICA (ibrutinib), a cancer drug used to treat certain types of leukemia and lymphoma, in the recently-released first list of the 10 Selected Drugs for Initial Price Applicability Year 2026. ACS and ACS CAN anticipate more cancer drugs will be added to subsequent government selected drug lists and want to ensure cancer patients are not disadvantaged by the Medicare negotiation process.

“Ensuring affordability while at the same time incentivizing innovation and cancer discovery are critical to addressing the unmet needs in cancer care and providing patients access to the specific drug that best treats their unique cancer,” said Dr. Karen E. Knudsen, CEO of the American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “We encourage CMS to implement the program in a manner that ensures patients taking the negotiated drugs directly benefit from the savings, and to work with the FDA to monitor implications and prevent any unintended consequences that can hinder the development of and access to innovative cancer products.”

The full text of the letter can be read here:

Letter to Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, CMS Administrator

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Taylor Hall
Associate Director, Federal Media Advocacy, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Michele Money- Carson