DENVER (KDVR) — Governor Jared Polis and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing is now looking for proposals from organizations to perform as the Colorado Drug Importation Program Contractor(s) for the Department.
Polios stated that this program they estimate would provide savings of nearly 60% off the prices of importable prescription drugs from Canada.
“The U.S. pays the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, and we are sick and tired of being ripped off. Almost one in three Coloradans do not take their prescription drugs as directed because they can’t afford to,” Polis said. “My administration will lead the way in changing that. Safely importing prescription drugs from Canada is one of the ways we can help Coloradans save money on health care.”
The Department’s Invitation to Negotiate was released Monday, looking for vendors to help operate with aspects like compliance, safety and prescription drug distribution within the program.
The vendor tasks are explained below:
- One vendor will be responsible for administrative and programmatic functions including compliance monitoring, communications, and data collection.
- A second vendor – a foreign seller, which is a Canadian wholesaler – will purchase prescription drugs for the Colorado market.
- A third vendor – referred to as an importer, a pharmacist or U.S. wholesaler – will contract with the foreign seller to facilitate the importation of the prescription drugs into Colorado. The importer will also manage the drug distribution system, which includes ensuring imported products are tested to meet safety standards through the use of a qualified laboratory.
“Obviously a reason to be optimistic because there is no way they will import Canadian drugs and they cost us more,” Ky Davis, a pharmacist and pharmacy owner in Rocky Ford said.
He stated as one of the stakeholders for the program, he said the department and those working at the Governor’s office on this program have been very fluid with conversations. He said especially since they are a locally owned and operated shop.
“We do appreciate them trying to incorporate our thoughts into this,” Davis said.
He said he does think there are benefits to the program.
“We know when drugs are overly expensive our patients don’t take them. That’s what were here to do, is make sure patients take their meds,” Davis said.
But he said he isn’t sure if large manufacturing corporations will have too much of an influence to pump the breaks on the program.
“Colorado is leading the way in the nation. A lot of other states are watching closely to see if this can become a viable thing going forward,” Davis said.
For more information on the Drug Importation Project click here.