Proposed Drug Legislation Causing Debate In Colorado Statehouse

Two plans that would reduce drug costs are getting praise from many consumer groups, but one organization fears one plan could keep the newest drugs from those who need them most. One bill already introduced in the Senate would create a committee to put together a list of preferred drugs to be used by the state's Medicaid plan. Those drugs would be selected on the basis of effectiveness, safety, and cost.

Among the supporters of this plan are AARP and the Colorado Progressive Coalition, but the national alliance for the mentally ill says the plan could hurt those who need help the most. Drug companies also say they won't support this bill because it costs them money.

A second bill being introduced by Senator Bob Hagedorn, (D), Arapahoe, would permit Colorado to join 11 other states in a bulk drug buying pool. If approved, the bill would allow participants to buy drugs at the same discounted price the federal government gets.

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