President Trump signals support for Colorado plan to import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada
President Donald Trump told Colorado Gov. Jared Polis in a phone call Wednesday that he approves of the state’s plan to lower prescription costs by importing drugs from Canada.
“The president expressed his support for the drug importation bill and his commitment to ensuring Colorado receives approval,” a spokeswoman for Polis said in a statement Thursday.
The president’s backing may remove a big uncertainty around a plan that lawmakers hope can cut prices by as much as 50% for certain drugs that will be part of the program. The state is still putting together specifics of the program, including the list of drugs eligible to be imported. But it will ultimately require federal approval to be done legally.
“That’s half the battle,” state Sen. Joann Ginal, a Democrat from Fort Collins who sponsored the drug importation bill at the Capitol this year, said upon hearing of Trump’s supportive comments.
The other half may be more difficult, though. Ginal said the proposal must be approved by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who will require the state to show that the program will actually reduce costs and be safe for patients. In a break with his boss, Azar has criticized the idea that imported drugs from Canada can reduce pharmaceutical prices in America.
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