Weekly Policy Update: Primary Elections, Congratulating Sen. Gardner, and Drug Pricing
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 06/28/2018
2018 COLORADO PRIMARY ELECTION
With the anticipated Colorado Primary Election this week, we learned the long-awaited results of who would be our top two democratic and republican candidates for Governor. This was a crowded race with the Democratic party candidate Jared Polis and the Republican Party candidate Walker Stapleton winning the nominations. For more information on the races for state seats and U.S. Congress click here and be sure to read CBSA Vice President Jennifer Jones’ policy update in the Focus newsletter.
Colorado State Governor Race
Cary Kennedy — 24.74 percent
Jared Polis — 44.66 percent
Mike Johnston — 23.32 percent
Donna Lynne — 7.28 percent — 42,651 votes
Walker Stapleton — 47.90 percent
Greg Lopez — 13.06 percent
Doug Robinson — 8.89 percent
Victor Mitchell — 30.14 percent
SENATOR CORY GARDNER IN CO
Last week CBSA honored Senator Gardner, who received the 2018 Champion of Health Care Innovation Award. STAQ Pharma and We Work for Health Colorado joined CBSA in congratulating the Senator. We are proud to have a CO Delegation who advocates for innovation and our bioscience industry.
DRUG PRICING UPDATES
Two weeks ago, HHS secretary Alex Azar went before the Senate HELP committee and this week before the Senate Finance Committee to talk about the administration’s effort to lower drug prices. For more information on the blueprint click here and to view the full hearing in the Senate Finance committee click here.
While the hearing was intended to address drug costs it quickly departed into a discussion on immigration concerns from both sides of the aisle. During the portions that did encompass lowering drug costs Azar said, “‘many major drug companies’ have tried to make “substantial and material price decreases,” but were rebuffed by PBMs, exemplifying ‘just how broken our system of drug prices and drug distribution is in the United States.’” He went on to say, “I would encourage the Senate and Congress to inquire of pharmacy benefit managers as to whether they have received suggestions or approaches from drug companies for lower list prices and what has the reaction been.
“[Drug companies] set their prices, they’re accountable for that,” he added. “But the channel is definitely not making it easier.”
At CBSA we are committed to ensuring patients have access to therapies and needed medicines. To that end, we believe it is imperative to look at the healthcare system holistically. This encompassing approach will help patients understand the role manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers (or PBM’s), and insurers play in determining out of pocket costs. We are dedicated to patients, and we work every day to help people live longer, healthier lives. That’s why we support true transparency.
We look forward to working with our Colorado Delegation in DC, and our local elected officials on creating federal and state policies that support patients and encourage innovation. For more information on the hearings, true transparency and recommendations of ways to look at the system holistically click here.