Fort Collins Reps. Arndt and Kipp’s health care and education bills also signed into law
(May 16) – Gov. Jared Polis signed two bills in Fort Collins today sponsored by Rep. Sonya Jaquez Lewis to help lower the cost of prescription drugs for Coloradans.
The first bill will help reduce the price consumers pay for prescription medications. The bill, SB19-005, will allow the wholesale importation of prescription pharmaceutical products from Canada for resale to Colorado pharmacies.
“As a pharmacist, I know there are many Coloradans who are having to choose between feeding their families or the life-saving drugs they depend on,” said Rep. Jaquez Lewis, D-Boulder County. “We’ve seen drug price increases of nearly 500 percent. That’s unacceptable and those prices are drowning patients. The ability to import prescription drugs from Canada will help lower the cost of health care for hardworking families.”
Jaquez Lewis is a licensed pharmacist. Sen. Joann Ginal, D-Fort Collins, and Sen. Robert Rodriguez, D-Denver, are the Senate sponsors of the bill.
SB19-005 creates the “Colorado Wholesale Importation of Prescription Drugs Act” where the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing will apply for a waiver under federal law to contract with a vendor. The vendor will design and implement a program to import prescription pharmaceutical products from Canada for sale to Colorado pharmacies. The program design must ensure both drug safety and cost savings for Colorado consumers.
The House amended the bill to rename it after former State senator Irene Aguilar, D-Denver.
Gov. Polis also signed HB19-1131 which requires drug manufacturers to provide, in writing, the wholesale cost of a prescription drug to a prescriber, as well as give the names and wholesale acquisition costs of at least three generic prescription drugs, if they exist. This will help prescribers see the transparency of prescription costs, which can be shared with the consumer.
“This new law is all about shining a light on the cost of prescription drugs,” said. Rep. Jaquez Lewis. “The law requires pharmaceutical reps, when they are talking to a doctor or prescriber, to share the cost of a drug. The more you know, the better off you’ll be. The more prescribers know about the cost of drugs, the better choices they can offer patients who are concerned about high prescription drug costs or are having trouble paying for the medications.”
Gov. Polis also signed HB19-1222, sponsored by Rep. Cathy Kipp, D-Fort Collins and Rep. Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon. This new law will allow funds in the advanced placement exam fee grant program to also be available to reduce or eliminate fees for the international baccalaureate exam for low-income students.
The Gov then signed a bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Jeni Arndt, D-Fort Collins HB19-1291 concerning the supervision of insurers and establishing certain disclosure requirements for insurers.
The bills were signed at the CSU Health and Medical Center in Fort Collins.