Issue 2: Breaking down the cost of the Drug Price Relief Act


There's more than drug prices at stake in the contentious battle for your vote on Issue 2, also known as the Drug Price Relief Act.

If Issue 2 passes, opponents say, in the event pharmaceutical companies sue to block the law, taxpayers money could be used to defend it.

Ohio State law professor Efthimios Parasidis is an expert in health care law.

"I don't see any legal basis for the pharmaceutical companies to actually sue the state of Ohio once or if this issue passes," he said.

But let's assume the drug companies do sue, and despite its passage, the attorney general decides not to defend the case.

In that scenario, Ohioans would have to pay the legal defense to ensure Issue 2 remains the law.

There is also the claim that if Issue 2 passes, it will save Ohioans $ 400 million.

Dale Butland represents those against Issue 2. He says that's false.

He also argues, the money the state pays for drugs is close to the VA discount, and he says Issue 2 won't help everyone, only those who buy drugs from the state.

"This ballot initiative only applies to drugs purchased by the state which means two out of every three Ohioans will be left out," Butland said.

Professor Parasidis says drug companies already negotiate prices in other countries.

"Studies have consistently shown that Americans pay more for drugs than anywhere else in the world to say that countries or states like Ohio can't negotiate drug prices is disingenuous on the part of the drug companies," he said.

Nearly all of the $3.7 million raised to support Issue 2 this year has come from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, whose founder tried and failed to reduce drug prices in California.

Pharmaceutical companies raised $15.8 million this year to defeat Issue 2.