“Virtually every part of the complex web of the drug supply chain is scraping billions of dollars in profits off the backs of consumers.”
DENVER – Today, Colorado’s Department of Health Care Policy and Financing released a report on “Reducing Prescription Drug Costs in Colorado.” In its Executive Summary, the authors noted that:
Prescription drug costs are the fastest-growing consumer health care expense in the U.S…. Branded and specialty drug costs are growing significantly faster than inflation rates, industry profits are disproportionately high compared to others in health care… The cost burden of prescriptions is not just taking a toll on the financial wellbeing of Colorado families, employers and the government, it also has the tragic effect of people foregoing their medications because they can’t afford them. Left uninterrupted, prescription drug cost trends will continue upward on an unsustainable trajectory. (pg. 7)
In response, Adam Fox, director of strategic engagement for the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, released the following statement:
“It doesn’t matter where you go, who you talk to, or how they vote, skyrocketing prescription drug costs are a major concern for Coloradans. In a poll conducted earlier this year, 70 percent of Republicans and 74 percent of Democrats believe that a major reason for the increasing costs of health care is that drug companies are charging too much money. When nearly a third of Colorado adults report skipping medications or not filling prescriptions because of the cost, our state must do more to protect the health and financial security of its residents. Today’s report outlines what we can and should do at the state level to control unaffordable drug costs and to hold drug corporations accountable.
“In 2019, drug companies hiked the prices of 3,400 medications at 5 times the rate of inflation. Drug manufacturers claim they need the high prices, yet we see clearly where their priorities are when they spend $40 billion a year more on marketing their drugs than on research and development.
“Virtually every part of the complex web of the drug supply chain is scraping billions of dollars in profits off the backs of consumers.
“We can use creative policy solutions like a prescription drug affordability board to hold drug corporations accountable. We can shine a light on the drug industry’s pricing practices and identify opportunities to reduce costs by creating transparency throughout the drug supply chain.
“It’s time for Colorado to get serious and tackle prescription drug costs so families can afford the medications they need to stay healthy physically and financially.”
Colorado Consumer Health Initiative is a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that represents 40+ Colorado health organizations with more than 500,000 health care consumer-members advocating for high-quality, affordable and equitable health care. In 2018, CCHI received the “Get Wise” Consumer Protection award from the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).