Weekly Policy Update: Drug Review Board Legislation Passes State Senate
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 05/07/2021
Senate Bill 175 (Prescription Drug Affordability Review Board) passed the Colorado Senate today on a vote of 19-16. The bill would create a prescription drug review board in Colorado that is charged with collecting prescription drug pricing information and determining which drugs must undergo an affordability review. If the board determines that a drug is unaffordable for Colorado consumers, they would have the authority to set an upper payment limit (UPL) on all payments and reimbursements for the drug in the state.
While CBSA share the goal of improving healthcare affordability, we remain very concerned that this bill will adversely impact healthcare providers in the state and as a result, limit patient access to the very medicines subjected to the UPL. We also fear that state-mandated UPLs would diminish the ability of Colorado’s life sciences companies to raise needed capital to fund R&D and the commercialization of new therapies. Learn more.
CBSA has been working closely with our members and partners to advocate for changes to the bill that would remove the board’s power to set payment limits or at least require the state legislature to approve an upper payment limit before it is implemented. We believe it is critical that the state legislature has the chance to review the decisions of the board before a UPL is implemented so they can fully consider the implications for patients in Colorado.
Unfortunately, amendments to address our concerns about the board’s power to set payment rates were not adopted in the Senate.
While we are disappointed with today’s outcome, we appreciate the strong engagement from our life sciences community. Many leaders and companies in our ecosystem have participated in legislator meetings, sent emails and testified in committee about how this bill could negatively impact life sciences in Colorado. Thank you to our community for your support on these issues.
CBSA will continue to work to mitigate this bill in the Colorado House of Representatives in the coming weeks.
U.S. Support of TRIPS Waiver
In October of last year, South Africa and India introduced a petition before the World Trade Organization (WTO) that seeks to issue an IP waiver that will allow countries to force the transfer of all relevant technology, intellectual property and know-how related to Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics during the global pandemic. On May 5, 2021, the U.S. Government formally expressed its support of the waiver. This move raises big concerns for the life sciences industry.
CBSA is working closely with our national partners to learn more about how this will unfold and how we can engage and educate our policymakers on this issue.