For Immediate Release
DATE: April 19, 2023
CONTACT: Katie Reinisch, email@example.com, 303-653-1009
Priya Telang, firstname.lastname@example.org, 313-820-2428
Drug Pricing Bill Praised by Health Care Advocates
Legislation Clears Committee, Heads to full Senate
DENVER – This afternoon, House Bill 1225, a bill to improve the ability of the Prescription Drug Affordability Board to help consumers afford their medications, passed the Senate House and Human Services Committee with a vote of 6 to 3 and is headed to the Senate floor.
HB-1225 seeks to make the Prescription Drug Affordability Board (established in 2021) more impactful by extending the timeline for the PDAB to operate, adjusting the cap on the number of drugs that can have upper payment limits set in the first 3 years, and other pro-consumer adjustments.
Colorado’s Prescription Drug Affordability Board just wrapped up the rulemaking phase earlier this year, the first PDAB in the nation to finish the rulemaking process and start working towards the affordability review process. Without HB-1225, the Board will sunset in 2026– not allowing it to build its work over time to ensure more savings for Coloradans.
In 2022, CCHI conducted a survey on prescription drug affordability in Colorado. One respondent reported paying nearly $600 a month on their insurance premium alone, and it doesn’t cover their asthma inhalers. With their insurance, they pay $600 for a 1-month supply of QVAR. Combined with their $600 monthly premium, they pay $1,200 a month just to breathe. With the PDAB, the cost of QVAR can be called into question, and the price can be limited accordingly, ensuring that Coloradans are not going bankrupt for trying to breathe.
“Colorado’s Prescription Drug Affordability Board is the farthest along in the nation,” said Hope Stonner, policy coordinator of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. “This legislation strengthens the 2021 bill, ensuring that the board can effectively operate and more Coloradans can finally find relief from the high cost of prescription drugs. We hope the Board can begin to balance out the influence that the various industries along the supply chain have on the market.”
One in 3 Coloradans currently struggle with affording their prescription drugs, with many delaying or avoiding filling their prescription. The Board will soon select the first drugs to be reviewed for affordability, and have reasonable upper payments set for the prescription drugs that patients rely upon.
HB23-1225 will be voted on by the full Senate and, if passed, be sent to the Governor.
Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, membership-based group advocating for equitable access to high-quality, affordable health care. CCHI serves Coloradans whose access to health care and financial security are compromised by structural barriers, affordability, poor benefits, or unfair business practices of the health care industry.