Select Language:
Book Online Doctor Visit

Colorado and Other States Champion Canadian Drug Importation Programs

Post written by BFH Staff Writer on March 11, 2024
Share Post:
canada drug prices
Navigate Post

The Biden administration’s recent decision to permit Florida to import prescription drugs from Canada at reduced costs has ignited interest among other states, including Colorado, to pursue similar initiatives. 

On January 5, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Florida approval to proceed with its plan, marking a historic moment as the first state to receive federal authorization for bulk importation of prescription drugs from another country.

Colorado viewed Florida’s recent approval as an encouraging step towards accessing cheaper Canada drug prices. According to the latest development, the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) predicts that the implementation of an importation program in Colorado may become operational by late 2024 at the soonest. This timeline hinges on the approval of Colorado’s revised application by the federal government.

The HCPF collaborated with a team of actuaries to conduct an extensive analysis on thousands of drugs eligible for importation, identifying those that could yield cost savings within the Program. The assessment revealed the potential to import 24 brand and specialty drugs, covering various conditions such as blood clots, cystic fibrosis, respiratory illnesses (COPD), cancer, type 2 diabetes, HIV, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis

In response to FDA requests, the program features a more concise list of drugs for importation compared to the previous application. However, the inclusion of these drugs is contingent upon successful negotiations with manufacturers to secure agreements for access to supply.

Texas is moving forward with its initiative, bolstered by Florida’s successful approval, which the state’s health agency believes will reinforce the implementation of Texas’s own wholesale prescription drug importation program. 

At the same time, Vermont, which led the charge by passing drug importation legislation in 2018, continues its dialogue with the FDA. However, Vermont’s application was found incomplete by the FDA during the Trump administration, a decision influenced by rules established in 2020. Given its smaller size and purchasing power, Vermont may explore partnering with another state to facilitate its importation program. 

In contrast, New Hampshire’s bid was turned down by the FDA in 2022, as the state did not secure a Canadian wholesaler to supply more affordable medications.

While political pressure on state governors to pursue drug importation is expected to prompt other states to explore Canadian import programs, obtaining FDA approval is just the initial stage in the regulatory process. Additional drug-specific information must be submitted for FDA review and approval.

Related Products

There are no related matching items at this time. Please check again soon.