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Making prescriptions more affordable

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For too long, insurance companies have been able to restrict how a patient may receive his or her medication. By drastically raising fees and copays for in-person pickup at a pharmacy, many patients are effectively forced to receive their prescriptions in the mail. 

That is why I am sponsoring HB18-1097, Patient Choice in Pharmacy. This bill will allow the patients – not the insurance companies – to decide what is best for them when accessing their prescription medications. Last month, my bipartisan legislation passed the House and similar bills have passed in 27 other states. We can’t allow big insurance companies to dictate our critical health care needs. 

For example, many people with diabetes need immediate access to insulin. At times, when that expensive insulin prescription is delivered through the mail it is left to spoil in the sun or freeze in the cold. This is life-saving medication that a patient cannot do without. In these cases, the patient is forced to pay out of pocket to quickly replace the spoiled medication. 

Or if a person is traveling – for work or for fun — and gets and infection, how is that person supposed to obtain their mail prescriptions through the mail in a timely manner? 

Another example is a young woman attending school out of state. She is on her parents’ insurance and is required to have her prescriptions mailed to their home.

But her parents are then forced to turn around and mail medicine to their daughter, further delaying the delivery of that medication. All because their insurance company raises fees or copays for in-person pickup at her local pharmacy. 

Navigating the systems required by the insurance companies to get your prescriptions through the mail is often difficult and time consuming. It typically requires spending time on an automated phone system, or navigating a website.

Many seniors have difficulty with these systems and would rather take a quick drive or walk to visit with their pharmacists in person. 

Coloradans from Jeffco, rural plains and mountain communities, and urban centers have brought this issue to my attention. They need to access their prescriptions in person from their local pharmacists, and should be able to do so without penalties from their insurance company. That’s why the Senate needs to pass HB18-1097, my measure to increase patient choice in pharmacy.

Jessie Danielson serves as Speaker Pro Tem of the Colorado House of Representatives. She represents State House District 24, which includes Golden, Wheat Ridge and other areas in Jefferson County. Rep. Danielson’s legislative office phone is 303-866-5522. Her website is www.jessiedanielson.com. Please reach out any time with ideas, feedback or questions. 

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