Concerned about safety?
Are you a Colorado citizen or healthcare professional, such as a pharmacist, who is concerned about the steps Colorado is taking to expose citizens to drugs from outside the secure supply chain? Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drug Importation in Colorado: An Overview
In August 2022, Colorado issued an update identifying three vendors to carry out the state importation program.
Colorado published a draft proposal of the program in March 2020 along with comments to HHS on the proposed federal importation guidelines. Their comments revealed that the architects of the plan don't think importation can work financially as designed because of the small size of the Canadian drug supply and the cost requirements of testing.
PSM has documented several problems with the draft proposal for Colorado's program in this analysis.
How should we evaluate this program?
The program hasn't started yet so there's no way to measure whether it saved money or kept patients safe, both promises made at the time of passage. However, the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act contains requirements for safety requirements built into any such program.
Official actions and statements
- August 2022: Colorado’s Drug Importation Program: Frequently Asked Questions August 2022
- December 2021: Legislative Report from the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing on the implementation of the Prescription Drug Importation Program
- January 2021: The Department of Healthcare Policy and Financing publishes the second edition of Reducing Prescription Drug Costs in Colorado: Cost Drivers and Strategies to Address Them and An Invitation to Negotiate
- October 15, 2020: The Department of Healthcare Policy and Financing updates stakeholders: Slides
- September 23, 2020: Department of Health and Human Services Alex Azar certified that Canadian drug importation would pose no additional threats to consumers and would save Americans a significant amount of money on prescription drugs.
- June 10, 2020: The House Committee on Health & Insurance postponed SB20-119, which would have expanded Colorado's importation program beyond Canada, indefinitely.
- March 9, 2020: Colorado releases draft importation proposal and appendices.
- February 13, 2020: Colorado Health and Human Services Committee hearing on SB 119
- January 2020: The Colorado legislature considers SB20-119, which would expand importation from Canada to prescription drug suppliers from other nations.
- May 16, 2019: Colorado SB19-005 is signed into Law
- October 11, 2019: The Department for Healthcare and Public Financing issues RFIs to pharmacies and wholesalers.
- November 2019: Colorado's Department of Health Care Policy & Financing held webinars to engage stakeholders: Slides
Background / resources
Learn more about
- The Drug Importation Debate
- Fake Medicine in Colorado
- The Importance of U.S. Closed Drug Supply Chain
Op-eds from the Experts
In this February 4th, 2019 editorial for Colorado Politics, Denver resident Ali Schroer warns, “I experienced firsthand the dangers of counterfeit, imported drugs, and was critically ill for months as we sought to uncover the source of my illness.”