Bill Ritter used his governor’s pen for the first time today to sign a bill that will bring lower prescription drug prices to hundreds of thousands of Coloradans. Senate Bill 1 will create the ColoradoCares Rx program, under which residents who earn up to three times the federal poverty level will be able to buy drugs at low, state-negotiated prices.
The drugs must be on the state preferred drug list (PDL), which Ritter created last week through executive order. Through the new program, the up to 10,000 drugs on the PDL could be discounted up to 80 percent.
Ritter said he is following through on his campaign pledge to lower heath care costs. Former Gov. Bill Owens vetoed similar bills in 2005 and 2006.
An estimated 264,000 residents will be eligible for the program, which will begin accepting applications early next year. Participation will require a $20 registration fee.