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April 12, 2023

House Advances Bill to Reduce the Cost of Prescription Drugs

DENVER, CO - The House today passed legislation on a preliminary vote to improve oversight of Pharmacy Benefit Managers to reduce the cost of prescription drugs.

“Pharmacy Benefit Managers hold a lot of power in setting prescription drug prices, which is why we’ve worked to protect consumers from price-gouging and other unfair business practices,” said Rep. Iman Jodeh, D-Aurora. “Over 91% of pharmacists agreed that Pharmacy Benefit Managers negatively affect their ability to run their practice and provide quality patient care. This legislation strengthens the Division of Insurance’s ability to enforce our cost-saving measures and protect pharmacies and businesses from unfair practices.”

“As a person with a disability, I can’t emphasize enough how crucial it is to ensure every Coloradan can access essential medication at a price they can afford,” said Rep. David Ortiz, D-Littleton. “This legislation will reduce the cost of prescription drugs by holding the pharmacy benefit industry accountable. By passing this bill, we’ll be able to effectively enforce laws that save Colorado patients and pharmacies money on health care.”

HB23-1227 will ensure that Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM) follow through on critical cost savings reforms that the legislature has passed in recent years to save consumers money. This bill will provide the Division of Insurance (DOI) with more direct oversight over PBMs by requiring them to register and specifying that the DOI has the ability to enforce those reforms.

This bill would grant the commissioner the power to investigate and impose penalties on PBMs for failing to comply with consumer protections such as charging pharmacies fees to adjudicate claims, clawing back money from pharmacies inappropriately, and discriminating against independent pharmacies versus PBM affiliated pharmacies.

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