DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado leaders submitted a proposal to the FDA on Monday to import prescription drugs from Canada.

Gov. Jared Polis’s office said that if the plan is approved, Coloradans could save an average of 65% on imported medications.

State officials say they have the supply chain in place and hope to have approval from the FDA within the next six months. Then lower-cost imported medications could be on store shelves by late 2023.

“It’s a big deal,” said Kim Bimestefer, the executive director for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. “Prescription drugs are the leading driver of rising health care cost, so it’s very important,” she said. 

Lauren Reveley is the Drug Importation Program manager. She said if approved, residents would use a website to see which pharmacies are participating and which drugs are offered.

Reveley said the program will work with independent and chain pharmacies hoping to get product on their store shelves. The program will also work with Colorado health plans and hope to make lower-cost drugs available to insured and noninsured residents.

“The drugs that we are targeting…. respiratory drug, drugs that treat HIV and other chronic conditions that Coloradans live with every day,” Reveley said. “Latuda for example, which is a mental health drug, it’s actually a 90% savings from Canada.”

Colorado is one of several states now trying to start importation programs.