Ohio Drug Price Relief Act: Who is telling the truth?

Published:
Updated:

Six months before the November election, opponents of the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act are trying to convince voters that the ballot measure is bad for Ohioans.

The measure, if passed, would be the first in the country that would force drug makers to sell Ohio drugs at the same price The US Veterans Administration receives.

Supporters said it could save Ohioans $400 million a year in drugs costs. But Opponents say that's wishful thinking.

They claim nowhere in the ballot language does it say drug companies have to sell at those prices, and even if they did, they would simply raise prices on other drugs.

According to the opposition, the law will have little impact on those who don't receive Medicaid because recipients already get a 23 percent discount on their drugs which is nearly the same discount offered to VA patients plus additional rebates.

That's part of the problem with the ballot measure, according to opponents. Because the VA rebate prices are known, there's no way to know what the lower drug price is.

Supporters of the measure said if the VA can get a drug discount so should all Ohioans. They say the ballot measure would do the following:

  • Cut drug prices for 3.7 million Ohioans.
  • That savings will help plug Ohio's budget hole of $800 million.

Opponents say:

  • A similar measure was proposed in California and it failed, proving it won't work.
  • The bill will only impact those who receive drugs paid by the State meaning 7 million Ohioans won't benefit.