Prescription Drugs

Drug companies and organized labor groups are throwing their support behind legislation that would discount prescription drugs for some half a million Coloradans.

The two groups who traditionally butt heads on certain bills were at the Capitol yesterday to show their support.

The proposal would cover uninsured people and families, and also individuals over 60 years old.

They would be able to use a discount card to purchase medications at their local pharmacy at the same price the state gets for its employees and retirees.

Drug manufacturer PhRMA supports the bill because it prefers market-based approaches to make drugs more affordable rather than having the government enact price controls.

A similar program in Ohio is saving 70,000 participants an average of 30 percent on prescriptions.

PhRMA senior vice president Kurt Malmgren says it costs about one billion dollars to develop a new drug and artificially lowering prices could hurt the development of new drugs.