Saving People Money on Healthcare: Polis-Primavera Administration Submits Updated Canadian Drug Importation Plan to the FDA

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Governor Jared PolisColorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing logo

Plan identifies 24 drugs and dosages that could save Coloradans up to $51 million over three years


February 27, 2024

Media Contacts
Shelby Wieman | (Governor’s office)
Marc Williams | (HCPF)

Denver, CO - Today, Governor Polis and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) announced the submission of Colorado’s amended application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Biden Administration to import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada. The submission is an amendment to the initial application submitted on Dec. 5, 2022. With this step forward, Colorado is closer to federal approval to operate Colorado’s Canadian Drug Importation Program. If the FDA approves, Colorado can start the process of bringing lower-cost prescription drugs into the state so more Coloradans can afford the medication they need to thrive.

“We are focused on saving Coloradans money on healthcare, one of the highest costs people face. We know this will help save people money on prescription drugs — upwards of $51 million in the first three years and now we are one step closer to launching our Drug Importation Program. We urge a speedy approval from the FDA as this action will help make prescription drugs, and health care, more affordable for all Coloradans,” said Colorado Governor Jared Polis.

In 2019, solidifying his commitment to save people money on health care and to bring down the cost of prescription drugs, Governor Polis signed the landmark bipartisan Senate Bill 19-005 sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Rodriguez, Senator Ginal and then Representative Jaquez Lewis. The legislation authorized HCPF to seek approval from the federal government to establish an importation program to provide Colorado employers and consumers access to Canada’s lower-priced drugs.

In August 2022, the Polis administration announced the selection of the three primary partners for the program, which sets up the supply chain for eligible prescription drugs to be securely routed to Colorado. Including and beyond those three primary partners, the program consists of a unique team of wholesalers, a qualified laboratory, a relabeler, and a reporting partner that meet all federal requirements. This process will ensure high-quality prescription medications from Canada arrive safely at Colorado pharmacies.

“Our Canadian drug importation program, once approved by the FDA, will bring meaningful savings to Coloradans and our employers, as part of Colorado’s array of innovative and effective solutions intended to save people money on prescription drugs,” said HCPF Executive Director Kim Bimestefer.

As this program nears implementation, HCPF looks forward to engaging stakeholders to ensure Colorado consumers have access to lower cost, high-quality medications. Visit HCPF’s website for more information and to learn more about upcoming stakeholder opportunities.


About the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing: The Department administers Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid program), Child Health Plan Plus, and other programs for Coloradans who qualify. These health care programs now cover about one in four Coloradans. For more information about the Department, please visit