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The Ohio Drug Price Relief Act

Published: June 19, 2017 4:00 AM

The "initiated statute," which is a law proposed by citizen-initiative petition, proposes reducing the cost of prescription drugs for many Ohioans. It was submitted in 2016 to the General Assembly, which did not act, prompting sponsors to collect signatures to place the issue on the Nov. 8 statewide ballot.

It would:

Create Section 194.01 of the Ohio Revised Code, prohibiting the state from paying more for prescription drugs than the price paid for drugs by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Produce savings estimated of at least at 20 to 24 percent over current drug prices.

Apply to more than 4 million Ohioans, including 3.7 million in Medicaid and other state pharmacy programs, 225,000 at the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, 114,900 state employees and dependents, 106,000 university employees.

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Potentially trigger overall reduction in drug costs to people not directly affected by the state.

Empower proponents to challenge lawsuits filed against the act, with legal funding coming from the state.

It is:

Modeled after California's Drug Price Standards Initiative, defeated 53 percent to 47 percent last fall.

Backed and mostly funded by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation of California.

Opposed by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, representing the drug industry.

Source: Ballot issue, Dispatch research


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