Coming Together as a Community
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 05/11/2018
Collaborating on True Transparency to Benefit Patients
Our state’s bioscience innovators work to create wearable devices to help make us healthier, develop drugs that could save a loved one from cancer, and identify disease-causing viruses and bacteria in food and water before they can make people sick.
The people in our industry work with an inventive spirit to improve quality of life for patients here in Colorado and around the world. We agree, patients and their families need access to affordable medicines and health care. That’s why we advocate for a holistic, collaborative approach to address prescription drug pricing.
Four bills carrying the ‘transparency’ label were defeated in the Colorado State Legislature this session. The legislation failed to provide the relief patients need next time they pick up a prescription or schedule a procedure. Two of the proposed bills, HB18-1009 and HB18-1260, posed significant harm to our state’s bioscience industry, and the researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs who work in it.
Our industry is a pillar of the state’s booming economy. With more and more innovators evaluating Colorado as a place to establish a headquarters or relocate a growth business, now is the time to come together as business leaders, community builders and policymakers and discuss how we can protect innovation and provide more affordable options for patients.
As a starting point, we have three recommendations:
1. Encourage competition from biosimilar and generic drugs. The FDA has already shown support for this strategy by working to speed up the review of generic drug applications for medicines without significant competition.
2. Share negotiated rebates with patients. Instead of a system that rewards insurance companies or pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), let’s pursue changes that save patients money.
3. Examine the role of PBMs and insurance companies in drug pricing. The final costs to patents are ultimately decided by employers, insurance companies and PBMs.
In support of the tens of thousands of Colorado researchers and entrepreneurs who work every day to improve the quality of life for patients, we are looking forward to advancing the state’s transparency conversation. We are committed to preserving opportunities for bioscience companies and supporting patients with thoughtful policies that address our health care system as a whole, and identifying solutions that make sense for all Coloradans.
For more information about our recommendations, see our previous blog post on driving down prescription drug costs here.