Weekly Policy Update: Importing Drugs and the Governor’s Budget
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 01/18/2019
Last week CBSA took an opposition position to Senate Bill 005 – Import Prescription Drugs from Canada. As a reminder this bill would create the “Colorado Wholesale Importation of Prescription Drugs Act,” under which the department of health care policy and financing would design a program to import prescription pharmaceutical products from Canada for sale to Colorado consumers.
CBSA has actively been engaging with the bill’s sponsors, legislators and partners at the Capitol about the unintended consequences this legislation could bring to the consumer if passed. Not only will the legislation jeopardize patient safety, it will also have a negative impact on innovation—which is key to the growth of our industry and our bioscience members. In fact, studies have found that importation would lead to fewer investments in R&D which ultimately impacts the consumer and does not result in an overall cost savings.
Furthermore, just this week the Governor’s office released his first budget proposal to the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) of the General Assembly. In this letter the Governor highlights the priorities which include full-day kindergarten, reducing health care costs, resources for oil and gas inspectors to ensure public safety, and more.
Specifically related to health care and importation, on page 9 of the letter the Governor outlines the priorities for a state importation program and the desired budget set aside to get the program started. We will continue to meet with legislators as well as the Governor’s team to express our concerns with this legislation, including the risks to patient safety and the impact on innovation.