By Hannah Metzger (February 3, 2021)
The vast majority of Coloradans want the state the create a board intended to lower the cost of prescription drugs, according to a poll released by the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative.
The poll found that 77% of respondents supported a state board of appointed healthcare experts that would work to lower the cost of prescription drugs. After hearing arguments against the board, over 70% of respondents still supported it.
Adam Fox, deputy director of the CCHI, said Coloradans pay 60% to 85% more than people in other countries for the same prescription drugs.
“We know pharmaceutical companies still make a profit in those countries,” Fox said. “We can lower the costs of the most unaffordable drugs with a Prescription Drug Affordability Board and save Coloradans money.”
In Colorado, nearly one in three people skip doses, cut pills or don’t fill needed prescriptions because they cannot afford it, according to state data.
CCHI has collected numerous firsthand accounts from Coloradans who face such difficulties.
“When I experience a sudden change in my medication’s price, I cut back in my other areas of my health care,” said Sandra from Adams County. “I don’t fill my prescriptions. I don’t make appointments.”
“My friends often have to choose to pay rent or pay for their medication,” said Tania from Broomfield County. “Sometimes this means skipping rent for a month so that they can afford their medications.”
The Prescription Drug Affordability Board is currently being promoted to the state by health care advocates. The board would consist of a panel of experts to establish more affordable costs for the most expensive prescription drugs.
Support for the board is evident across every major demographic group, according to the CCHI poll.
The board was supported by 94% of Democrats, 80% of unaffiliated voters, 54% of Republicans, 82% of 18- to 44-year-olds, 72% of 45- to 64-year-olds and 74% of those 65 and up. Support was also steady across genders and incomes.
“Drugs don’t work if people cannot afford them,” Fox said. “No one should be forced to choose between filling a prescription they need for their health and paying their rent or putting food on the table.”
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