CBSA Opposes Drug Importation and Continues to Advocate for Safe Policy to Reduce Patient Costs

Last week CBSA testified in the House Health and Insurance Committee in opposition to Senate Bill 005 – Import Prescription Drugs From Canada, which would require the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to design a program to import prescription drugs from Canada for sale to Colorado consumers. CBSA expressed our concerns that opening up the U.S. supply chain would jeopardize safety by exposing patients to counterfeit, adulterated or unapproved drugs and would result in minimal savings for consumers. In fact, both the Department of Health and Human Services and the Congressional Budget Office have stated that savings from importation would be minimal; estimates suggest less than one percent.

At last week’s hearing, the Committee heard testimony but did not vote on the bill. We expect the Committee to vote on the bill and amendments on Wednesday, April 24.

CBSA is committed to ensuring patients have access to the treatments they need, but not at the cost of patient safety. And with importation, the risks are too high. But we recognize that under our current health care system some patients with high cost-sharing or high deductibles are exposed to unreasonable out-of-pocket costs, making it hard for them to afford their medicines. Which is why CBSA has spent so much time at the Capitol advocating for policies that would require health insurers and PBMs to share manufacturer rebates with patients at the pharmacy counter. Patients should be the ones who benefitfrom the deep discounts and rebates manufacturers provide, and we will continue to push for policies that will achieve that goal.

If you have questions about CBSA’s engagement on 2019 state legislation, please contact CBSA Vice President Emily Roberts.

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