Feds Release Rulemaking on Prescription Drug Importation

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

DENVER - The federal government released a proposed rule today which would permit states to import prescription drugs from Canada. States have been unable to import prescription drugs because the federal government had not established a framework for them to do so. With this proposed rule, Colorado and other states may finally be able to move forward on importation.  

Colorado is well-positioned to save people money by safely importing prescription drugs from Canada because earlier this year Governor Jared Polis signed into law a bipartisan bill which directs the state to seek permission from the federal government to establish an importation program. Colorado and other states have been at the forefront of developing proposals for importation.

“People across our state are tired of being ripped off by the high price of prescription drugs and health care,” said Gov. Polis. “We look forward to reviewing this rule to allow us to move forward. I’m proud our state is leading on saving people money on prescription drugs and we look forward to the work ahead. We hope the federal rulemaking process moves quickly so that we can offer much-needed relief to consumers who are struggling to afford their medications.”

Saving people money on health care is a top priority for the Polis administration. Last week, the Office of Saving People Money on Health Care and the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing released a new report on reducing prescription drug costs in Colorado. Prescription drug costs are the fastest-growing consumer health care expense. The burden of high prescription drug costs is such that people are foregoing their medications because they can’t afford them. Left uninterrupted, the prescription drug cost trends will continue on an unsustainable, upward trajectory.