Published Online: Tuesday, May 1, 2007

By this time next year, many citizens of the Rocky Mountain State will be saving more money than ever with the inception of the Generic Drug Card, a passport to less costly prescriptions for high blood pressure, asthma, arthritis, and many other ailments. Gov Bill Ritter signed an executive order that allowed Colorado to join a multistate pool to get deeper discounts on prescriptions for the 500,000 citizens currently on Medicaid. Soon after, both state chambers passed Senate Bill 1, which directs a state agency to negotiate discounts on generic medications for the 398,000 Coloradans who do not have health insurance and whose income is <300% of the federal poverty level.

State Senator Bob Hagedorn, who cosponsored the bill, said, "With generics, there will be no direct-to-consumer advertising costs, no research and development costs to pay for."Now, he said, it is up to the state's Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to negotiate the same steep discounts for generics that other states already receive. Colorado will be one of the few states that do not limit the drug benefit to Medicaid beneficiaries.

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