Colorado’s plan to import prescription drugs from Canada advances with signed contracts

By: - August 18, 2022 1:42 pm

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Colorado has signed contracts with three companies that the state hopes will enable the eventual importation of low-cost prescription drugs from Canada.

The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing announced Thursday that it has signed contracts with AdiraMedica, a wholesaler located in Canada that will be Colorado’s foreign fulfiller; Premier Pharmaceuticals, an Idaho-based company that will act as the distributor to Colorado pharmacies; and Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Safety, which will be responsible for adverse event reporting.

The idea is that by importing everyday prescription drugs from a country where they are less expensive, Coloradans with private insurance will be able to save money.


A 2019 law allowed the state to seek approval from the federal government to create an importation program, and a federal policy change made in 2020 allows states with authorized programs to import certain prescription drugs from Canada.

An importation program could result in an average of 61% savings on those prescriptions, according to an analysis of 167 drugs completed in March 2020. Colorado has not yet identified which prescription drugs it intends to import through the program.

“Colorado’s Drug Importation Program is an important step to lowering the cost of prescription drugs and keeping more money in people’s pockets,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement. “I am proud to see the progress of the program and the steps forward in making lower health care costs a reality across Colorado and look forward to delivering real results and savings.”

The state plans to submit its importation plan to the Food and Drug Administration this fall. Florida, Vermont, Maine and New Mexico are also seeking approval for their own importation plans.


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Sara Wilson
Sara Wilson

Sara Wilson covers state government, Colorado's congressional delegation, energy and other stories for Newsline. She formerly was a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain, where she covered politics and government in southern Colorado.