Gov. Bill Ritter signed his first bill on Monday, a measure that could provide up to 264,000 people with discounts on prescription drugs.
The plan, called the Colorado Cares Rx program, allows the state to negotiate lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies for generic drugs.
Ritter said it is a public health issue for people who can’t get the drugs they need.
“We all know people who at one time or another have delayed filling a prescription, taken less medication than the doctor prescribed or didn’t fill a prescription at all because of cost,” Ritter said.
He said the bill will help people who make up to $61,000 for a family of four.
A.W. Schnellbacher, spokesman for AARP, said a survey in 2005 of the elderly showed up to half reported major financial problems paying for medication.
“This is about helping hard-working Coloradans who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid and too little to afford health insurance,” he said.