DENVER — The following statement was issued by Lucy Westerfield, deputy executive director of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, following Governor Jared Polis’ signing of SB 21-175, a bill that establishes a prescription drug affordability board designed to deliver relief to Coloradans suffering from high drug prices:
“On behalf of Colorado patients, we thank Governor Polis for signing into law SB 21-175, a groundbreaking bill that will establish the country’s third prescription drug affordability board. The new prescription drug affordability board, which has overwhelming support from Coloradans, will be the first board of its kind to have the power to set upper payment limits for all insurers, providing meaningful relief to patients who struggle to afford their medications due to high prices. This is an important step for Colorado and one we hope other states will follow to protect patients and stand up to Big Pharma.”
- Colorado is the third state in the country to establish a prescription drug affordability board, the first in the country to have a board with the authority to set upper payment limits, and the first in the country whose set rates apply to all insurers.
- SB 21-175 creates a prescription drug affordability board that would:
- Perform affordability reviews of prescription drugs;
- Establish upper payment limits for prescription drugs that are determined to be unaffordable for Coloradans;
- Investigate, review, and establish more affordable prices for the most expensive and unaffordable prescription drugs;
- Investigate and review when drug companies sharply increase the price of a specific drug.
- Colorado patient Kris Garcia, who lives with multiple bleeding disorders including hemophilia, advocated for SB 21-175 at a March press conference and then again at a May legislative hearing. Garcia relies on a medication called Humate-P, which costs $10,000 per vial.
- Patients For Affordable Drugs Now mobilized Colorado residents to make more than 800 phone calls to legislators asking them to support the bill.