HCAC Town Hall - The Prescription Drug Affordability Review Board (Saturday, May 15, 2021)

This Saturday, May 15, 2021 at 10 a.m. — hear from legislative sponsors and health policy experts on the proposed legislation to establish a Prescription Drug Affordability Review Board (PDAB) in Colorado.

Big Pharma is spending a considerable amount of money on corporate lobbyists to keep prescription prices obscenely high. Who will it affect? What will the impact be to the people of Colorado on health care prices and insurance rates? What powers will the Board have to review drug costs and make policy decisions?

Joining us for this month's presentation are two of the prime sponsors, Senator Sonya Jaquez Lewis and Senator Julie Gonzales, and Isabel Cruz, Policy Manager for the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative.

Q&A will be available to Zoom participants. Event will be simulcast via Facebook Live to the Health Care for All Colorado Facebook page.

Grab your free Zoom link HERE!

About SB21-175 (the Prescription Drug Affordability Board, or PDAB)

The bill creates the Colorado prescription drug affordability review board (board) as an independent unit of state government and requires the board to perform affordability reviews of prescription drugs and establish upper payment limits for prescription drugs the board determines are unaffordable for Colorado consumers. 

The PDAB would consist of five health care experts who would set upper pricing limits on high priced drugs.

Some patients are forced to take their meds less or ration meds due to high cost of medications.

The Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI) conducted polls and found the following:

  • one in three people struggle to afford their medications.
  • 77% of Coloradans support creating a PDAB

A PDAB in Colorado would bring savings of 75% on the most unaffordable drugs.

What is the opposition lying about this time?

Opponents and lobbyists are stressing fear tactics by stating that if a PDAB capped the price on a certain prescription drug, the drug manufacturers or pharmacies would pull that drug off the market. Opponents state that creation of a PDAB will limit access of needed medications for people in Colorado because pharmacies will not carry these drugs.

There is no data to support these statements from other states with a PDAB.

About Our Speakers

Senator Sonya Jaquez Lewis was elected to the Colorado State Senate in November 2020 and serves Eastern Boulder County, which includes Longmont, Lafayette, Louisville. Prior to becoming Senator, she served Boulder County in the Colorado House of Representatives. She currently serves as a member of the State, Veterans and Military Affairs and Health and Human Services Committees. 

Prior to her service in the legislature, Senator Jaquez Lewis was a licensed pharmacist and former Medicaid Pharmacy Director for Colorado Access, where she initiated the start of the modern Colorado Medicaid program to increase healthcare access for thousands of Coloradans. With a passion for advancing public health, she then joined the Boulder County Board of Health where she voted for the first oil and gas moratorium in Boulder County, which kept oil and gas out of the county for five years. She also played a key role in the emergency response to the 2013 floods, which focused on providing housing assistance to residents in need and caring for animals in danger. 

Senator Jaquez Lewis is committed to tackling challenges ranging from protecting our community from fracking to helping working families afford healthcare and housing. She is committed to ensuring that Colorado is a safe, fair and inclusive place for all.

Senator Julie Gonzales is a progressive Democrat serving north, west, and downtown Denver as the state Senator for Senate District 34. With roots that stretch back generations in Colorado, Julie has spent her life organizing working people, Latinos, and young people on issues of affordable housing, educational justice, and immigrant rights. In her first two years in office, Julie strengthened protections for immigrant communities from ICE, repealed the death penalty, and streamlined Colorado’s marijuana regulations. She currently serves as Chair of the State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee; the Vice Chair of the Judiciary Committee; and a member of the Appropriations and Legislative Audit Committees. She serves as the Colorado Senate Democrats Caucus Chair and as Secretary of the Colorado Democratic Latino Caucus.

Isabel Cruz is a passionate advocate dedicated to amplifying the voices of consumers and marginalized communities to promote equity and wellness in Colorado. Originally hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Isabel earned her BA in Sociology from Yale University with a certificate from the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights. With over 6 years of experience in nonprofits across New York, New Haven, and Denver, she has dedicated her career to building power and nurturing leadership across diverse stakeholders to advance social change. In her role as Policy Manager at CCHI, Isabel is committed to bringing people together to advocate for policy solutions that ensure all Coloradans can access affordable and affirming healthcare. In her free time, you can find her exploring on her bike, taking her dog Mariposa on hikes and walks, and playing Ultimate Frisbee!


May 15, 2021 at 10:00am - 12pm