CMS lays out timeline for Medicare drug negotiation provision

Though negotiated prices won't appear until 2026, CMS is starting to implement the first-ever negotiated prices for drugs paid for by Medicare. 

Medicare will begin negotiating the prices for 10 drugs in 2026, part of the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law in August. This number will increase up to 60 drugs by 2029. 

In a timeline published Jan. 11, the agency laid out the process it intends to take, which includes selecting the first 10 drugs it will negotiate prices for in September. 

Here are the key dates in the negotiation process: 

Winter 2023: CMS will propose the data collection process for determining which drugs will be excluded from negotiation and take public comment on the proposal. 

Spring 2023: CMS will propose the negotiation process for setting maximum drug prices and invite public comment on key provisions. 

Sept. 1: CMS will publish the first 10 drugs selected for price negotiations. 

Oct 1: Manufacturers of selected drugs must agree to negotiate prices for 2026. 

Feb. 1, 2024: CMS will extend its first price offers for each drug in the negotiation program. Manufacturers have 30 days to propose a counteroffer. 

Aug. 1, 2024: The negotiation period ends. 

Sept. 1, 2024: CMS will publish the maximum fair prices for the first 10 drugs selected. 

Jan. 1, 2026: The negotiated maximum rates take effect.

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