Weekly Policy Update: New General Assembly, Inauguration, and Bill Introductions
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 01/11/2019
This marks the first full week of the 72nd First Regular Session of the Colorado General Assembly. It was a busy week with bill introductions, Governor Polis’ Inauguration and the State of the State (to view click here). Legislators are already working on and introducing legislation. CBSA will keep you updated weekly on bills we are monitoring, seeking feedback, or bills we’ve taken a position on. Check back throughout the legislative session for updates on legislative activity.
This week CBSA took an opposition position to Senate Bill 005 – Import Prescription Drugs from Canada. The 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.
Innovation is key to the growth of our industry, which leads to why CBSA opposes SB19-005. Studies have found that importation would have a negative impact on the biopharmaceutical innovation, creating fewer investments in R&D which ultimately impacts the consumer and does not result in an overall cost savings. Establishing an importation program of prescription drugs from Canada could expose patients to counterfeit, altered or unapproved drugs that lack oversight by any health authority. We know that under importation, there is no guarantee that patients and consumers will be kept safe from counterfeit drugs. We believe that safety to our patients is critical and this bill would ultimately compromise patient safety and have a negative impact on innovation.
Furthermore, importation has been addressed at a federal level, through the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA). The MMA would allow pharmacists and wholesalers to import certain drugs (not including controlled substances or biological products) from Canada to the United States only when the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) certifies to Congress that such importation will pose no additional risk to public health and safety and will result in significant cost-savings to American consumers.
CBSA works every day to create an innovation-friendly business environment, to grow our state’s economy and enhance the ability of our industry in creating next generation treatments and cures for patients. It is essential during this legislative session that we all work together to tell our story.
To that end, if you’d like to get engaged or talk about your concerns, perspective and position on these bills, please contact CBSA president and CEO, Jennifer Jones.