For 1st time, state board sets a drug price ceiling

On Feb. 23, Colorado secured a national first by agreeing to establish a price ceiling on a medication, The Denver Post reported. 

The state's Prescription Drug Affordability Board voted in favor of capping the cost of arthritis drug Enbrel, which has a list price of $1,850.46 for a weekly dose. Colorado legislators created the five-member board in 2021 to sniff out medications deemed "unaffordable" and establish a payment limit for state-regulated commercial payers.

By late August, the board will either narrow down an appropriate cost for Enbrel or vote against setting a price ceiling, according to The Denver Post. If established, the price cap would limit how much pharmacies could pay for the drug, and patients and payers would then pay that amount and a fee to cover the pharmacy's handling costs. 

The Colorado Hospital Association has previously said the board could limit hospital reimbursements, "creating a gap between the purchase price and leading to a loss for the hospital or decreased access to treatment for patients."

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