Scarier Than the Original! HB23-1225: PDAB “MODERNIZATION”

Scarier Than the Original! HB23-1225: PDAB “MODERNIZATION”

“Bride of Prescription Drug Affordability Board” is Scaring Coloradans Silly

  • Access compromised to life saving medicines.
  • Zero savings for beleaguered drug patients.
  • No relief from crushing out of pocket medical costs.
  • Squeezing doctors, pharmacists, hospitals, and clinics in a brutal ethical vice.
  • Squandering $81,000 PER MONTH in taxpayer money.

Welcome to Colorado’s emerging “Prescription Drug Affordability Board” (PDAB) nightmare.

After 20 months since the original PDAB bill SB21-175 passed, PDAB bureaucracy is floundering. Not one penny has been saved for drug consumers. Not one drug has been subjected to review. And taxpayers have footed the bill to the tune of $81,000 per month.

Now comes HB23-1225 – the “Bride of PDAB” — passed today out of its first committee hearing (House Health & Insurance) – with a 8-3 vote.

This bill should scare Coloradans silly. “The Bride of PDAB” strips out the only two guardrails standing between Coloradans and a bureaucracy run amok. The bill gives the Board power over an UNLIMITED number of drugs instead of the current limit of 12. And it DOUBLES the life of the PDAB program from five to ten years. Already able to wreak massive havoc for patients, providers, and taxpayers, PDAB would become the “Godzilla” of health care nightmares under HB23-1225.

Over 30 Colorado doctors, health care provers, patients, and community members testified in opposition to the original PDAB bill (SB21-175) fearing a wave of negative impacts, staying well into the night to voice objections about this unproven policy.

Thankfully the cost overruns, backward logic, and bureaucratic fog of PDAB have kept the policy being implemented so far.  But HB23-1225 is set to unleash the proverbial hounds and waste even more time, energy and taxpayer dollars.

We urge Coloradans to contact their legislators to say enough is enough.  Leave the “Bride of PDAB” at the altar and vote no on HB23-1225.

The table below outlines PDAB by the numbers:

The table below outlines PDAB by the numbers:

  • What level of savings can patients expect to see from implementation of PDAB policies and when can they expect to see them?  Will patients see any reduction in their out-of-pocket costs?
  • How do Colorado patients and their families get assurance that the backward logic of the UPL does not result in patients being denied access to hundreds of medications because providers won’t be allowed to access the drugs or face legal action if they do?
  • What alternatives will be available to patients if a needed medication is denied to them?
  • To what extent would PDAB exacerbate the already growing health inequities between high and low income patients when those with means can travel outside Colorado for a drug not available under the UPL, and those without means will have a harder time doing so?
  • How can the state legislature, research staff, and HCPF leadership justify the notion that no additional fiscal support will be required for a DOUBLING of PDAB’s sunset term, when the current spend rate for the program is $81,000 a month. Will the four full time state employees now assigned to PDAB go away?  Will the board not spend a penny during its five-year extension?

Read Jennifer Churchfield’s written testimony re: HB23-1225 here:

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