The Ohio Chamber of Commerce and its statewide business clout is opposing the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act voters will decide this November.
Andrew E. Doehrel, president and CEO of the chamber, said the ballot issue is "yet another example of an out-of-state special interest misusing Ohio's ballot access process in an effort to advance its own interests -- at the expense of Ohio citizens and taxpayers. This proposal would almost certainly lead to cost-shifting to private payers, including employers, perversely resulting in a majority of Ohioans paying more, not less, for their prescription drugs."
Doehrel said the "deceptive" proposal "runs counter to the free market values the chamber supports." The chamber has 8,000 members.
Backers say the Drug Price Relief Act, if approved by Ohioans, would require the state to pay no more for prescription drugs than is paid by the U.S. Veterans Administration. It is estimated the proposal would impact about 4 million Ohioans, including children, by reducing the cost of prescription drugs.
The issue is primarily supported by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, while the opposition is anchored by the deep pockets of pharmaceutical industry which spent in excess of $100 million to defeat a similar ballot proposal in California.