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Prescription drug transparency bill advances through Colorado House committee

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Michael McGrady | The Center Square

House Democrats in Colorado’s legislature advanced a bill that they say would further reform drug pricing transparency if passed.

The proposed Colorado Prescription Drug Transparency Act of 2020, or House Bill 1160, cleared the House Committee on Health and Insurance this week. 

The bill from state Reps. Dominique Jackson, D-Aurora, and Dylan Roberts, D-Avon, is intended to increase the transparency surrounding prescription drug pricing. HB 1160 would ensure that drug manufacturer rebates are passed along to consumers through lower insurance premiums for patients.

The committee’s members advanced the bill in a 7 to 3 vote on Thursday.  

“With multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical corporations making record profits, it’s time to finally hold these companies accountable for all the factors that are making prescription drugs unaffordable for far too many Coloradans,” Jackson said in a statement. “Access to life-saving medication is a right. This bill will bring badly needed transparency to the complex and secretive deals between drug manufacturers, insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers that are driving up the cost of drugs.”

“It’s clear that pharmaceutical corporations and drug middlemen are using rebates to get their drugs to market and to drive consumers to high-cost drugs, but these rebates aren’t being passed along to save people money,” Roberts added.  

The Center Square reported at the beginning of the legislative session that HB 1160 was proposed to provide state regulators with data needed to understand and address the cost of prescription drugs from pharmaceutical firms.