New report makes recommendations for advancing health equity and fostering patient engagement in the implementation of CMS’ Drug Price Negotiation Program


The recent collaboration between The Innovation and Value Initiative (IVI), Alliance for Aging Research, Leavitt Partners, LLC, and National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) has shed light on critical health equity issues and patient engagement within the Drug Price Negotiation Program (DPNP) context.

In December 2023, the IVI, Alliance for Aging Research, Leavitt Partners, LLC, and National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) convened a half-day symposium discussing, ‘Ensuring Equity in Implementation of IRA Drug Price Negotiations.’

The symposium included a diverse range of stakeholders, including policy professionals, agency staff, patient communities, and other subject-matter experts, who discussed implementation of the DPNP through a patient-centered equity lens. The DPNP, established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under the remit of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as a step towards lowering drug prices for millions in the US, has been subject to much speculation, as noted in our recent interview with Jason Spangler (CEO, IVI).

The goal of the symposium was to develop a set of actionable recommendations for CMS to ensure implementation of the DPNP includes health equity as an objective. A new report has now been published summarizing proceedings from the symposium and detailing these recommendations to CMS to inform the approach, planning, and day-to-day decision-making in the implementation of the DPNP.

As noted in the report, throughout the discussions, several themes emerged:

  • Centering equity in IRA implementation with an understanding of contextual factors.
  • Prioritizing meaningful stakeholder and community engagement.
  • Emphasizing transparency, clarity, and representativeness in data and evidence.
  • Implementing continuous measurement, evaluation, and improvement processes.
  • Adopting a humble, curious, and collaborative approach to implementation.

Based on the insights shared, critical recommendations for CMS include:

  1. Establishing a robust patient and health equity stakeholder engagement program.
  2. Ensuring transparency in goals, intentions, practices, and uncertainties.
  3. Implementing continuous quality measurement and improvement mechanisms.

The report notes that by following these recommendations, as the largest administrator of healthcare programs in the US, CMS can set an important example for private markets and healthcare decision-making in the future.

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