Polis Administration Releases New Prescription Drug Report - Assembles More Than 1600 Colorado Leaders to Tackle Prescription Drug Costs

New report provides insights into potential legislative action this session

Jan. 11, 2021

Media Contact
Marc Williams
720-626-0801 (c)

Denver, CO – Today, the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (the Department) released the 2nd edition of Reducing Prescription Drug Costs in Colorado - Cost Drivers and Solutions to Address Them.

One of the key findings in the report is that less than 2% of the drugs being prescribed to Coloradans are so expensive, they are driving nearly 50% of total prescription drug expenditures. Without federal price controls, manufacturers are bringing drugs to market at prices that are unsustainable and then using their lobbying power and patent lawyers to impede competition from generic manufacturers that would help reduce prices.

“The Polis-Primavera Administration is committed to saving people money on health care and that includes implementing solutions to significantly improve the affordability of prescription drugs,” said Colorado Lt. Governor and Director of the Office of Saving People Money on Health Care, Dianne Primavera. “Prescription drugs are so expensive that Coloradans cannot afford to take them, and that is unacceptable. We need to bring prescription drug prices down to ensure that all Coloradans have access to the care they need.”

“This report provides a multitude of state and federal solutions we can implement to significantly reduce prescription drug costs, which are a top driver of rising health care costs,” said Kim Bimestefer, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing. “To facilitate the implementation of effective prescription drug policy, our Department and the Governor’s Health Cabinet are bringing together more than 1650 health care leaders and stakeholders to the Colorado Health Cabinet Health Policy Summit tomorrow, Jan. 12. The Summit will include robust discussions on federal and state level policy changes necessary to make health care more affordable for Colorado employers, families and state financed plans like Medicaid.”

Findings from the newly released prescription drug report will also be discussed during the Summit on Jan. 12 from 8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (Mountain). This free event also includes potential policy priorities to drive overall health care affordability, improvements in Behavioral Health care, support for our rural hospitals, improvements in hospital community investment strategy, and an update on the state’s COVID-19 response and vaccine distribution strategy. Presenters are from the Governor’s Cabinet and Agency leadership with panelists including Senator Bennet, Senator Hickenlooper, Lt. Governor Primavera, and other health care and business leaders. 

The Department welcomes feedback on the report, requests for additional research on areas of interest and feedback on how future iterations of the report can enhance Colorado’s ability to lower prescription drug costs.


About the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing: The Department administers Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program), Child Health Plan Plus, and other programs for Coloradans who qualify. For more information about the Department, please visit Colorado.gov/hcpf.

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