Breaking Down Issue 2: The Drug Price Relief Act

You’ve probably heard a lot about Issue 2 – the Drug Price Relief Act. The supporters and opponents are flooding the airwaves with ads.

All of these ads are about just two paragraphs.

Here’s the breakdown:

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which buys a lot of pills from drug companies, gets a discount of up to 25 percent on some drugs. So why can’t state governments like Ohio get that same discount?

That’s what the people behind issue two are asking.

Ohio also buys prescription drugs for several state agencies – but Medicaid is the largest. Right now Medicaid, which provides health insurance for millions in Ohio, spends billions of dollars for prescriptions each year.

Issue 2 would allow Ohio to pay the same price for drugs as the VA – this would slash prices and prescription drug cost would go down. Issue 2 supporters say it would save all Ohio taxpayers money – around 400-million dollars a year—and that money could go back in the state coffers.

But it’s not that simple!

It’s impossible to predict what the drug companies will do if Issue 2 is approved. If they are forced to slash prices for the state – they may increase prices for everyone else – according to the groups opposed to the ballot issue.

Nearly every medical association in Ohio and several pharmaceutical companies oppose Issue 2.

Experts also say the drug companies will likely sue.

And it says right on the ballot that if they sue—the state has to pay the bill to defend Issue 2.


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