Weekly Policy Update: Colorado Releases Solicitation to Operationalize Canadian Drug Importation Program
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 01/28/2021
In 2019, the Colorado General Assembly passed SB19-005, which authorized the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) to seek approval from the federal government to create a Canadian drug importation program in Colorado.
This week the department released their Invitation to Negotiate (ITN), soliciting vendors to operationalize the state’s importation program. HCPF is seeking two or more interested vendors to fill the roles of program administrator, foreign seller (Canadian wholesaler), and importer (US wholesaler or pharmacist).
As outlined in the ITN, the administrator’s role will include compliance, communications and outreach, data collection, and reporting. The second vendor is a Canadian wholesaler, who will be responsible for purchasing drugs from FDA-registered manufacturers and selling to a U.S. pharmacist or wholesaler. And the third vendor will be a U.S. pharmacist or wholesaler, who must contract with the Canadian wholesaler to import the drugs and will be responsible for managing the drug distribution system. This includes ensuring the imported drugs are tested to meet safety standards, ensuring they are appropriately labeled and packaged for the Colorado market, and contracting with Colorado pharmacies to provide access to the imported drugs.
The ITN will remain open until April 26, after which the state will begin the process of bid evaluation and negotiation. HCPF plans to award vendor contracts by the summer. Sticking with that timeline, the state would submit their application to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in the spring or summer of 2022.
CBSA continues to oppose prescription drug importation. We believe it will jeopardize patient safety and do little to lower out of pocket costs for Coloradoans. The resources required to ensure the safety and efficacy of imported drugs will far outweigh any potential savings for Colorado consumers.
CBSA will continue to monitor the progress of the state’s implementation and provide regular updates to our community. If you have any questions, please contact Emily Roberts.