Ohio Issue 2: Watch the for and against ads for the Drug Price R - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Ohio Issue 2: Watch the for and against ads for the Drug Price Relief Act

The ballot initiative is intended to only allow the state to buy prescription drugs at the lowest price that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs pays for those drugs. (Source: CBS News) The ballot initiative is intended to only allow the state to buy prescription drugs at the lowest price that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs pays for those drugs. (Source: CBS News)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Issue 2 will be on the Ohio ballot this November and more than likely you've already seen several ads for the measure. It's officially called the "Ohio Drug Price Relief Act" according to the original petition submitted in July of 2015.

If California Proposition 61 is any indication there will be millions spent on campaigns to get it passed or defeated. In California, according to the LA Times, those who wanted Prop 61 defeated spent $109 million. Those who wanted it passed spent $19 million. 

Prop 61 is almost identical to Issue 2, in that state run medical programs can not accept any deal on prescriptions unless it matches the low negotiated prices the United State Veterans Association (VA) gets on the national level. The VA is believed to get prices on medications at a 22 to 24 percent price reduction when they negotiate with drug companies. Prop 61 in California was defeated in November of 2016, 53 to 47 percent. 

Those who support the issue say this move could save state run medical plans, like Medicaid, millions of dollars as they get drugs negotiated at a reduced rate. "Yes on Issue Two" has many supporters but none bigger than former presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders. In his ad Sanders claims "the time is long over due for the American people to stand-up to the greed of the pharmaceutical industry." Sanders perspective is that state governments should be allowed to negotiate much lower prices for the drugs they buy and provide to those signed up for state medical plans.

On the other side you have the No on Deceptive Rx Issue campaign. They have several professional and medical associations saying it should be voted down. In their ads they attack the idea that it could lower drug prices. Their argument is that if the state of Ohio starts negotiating drug low drug prices for the people on state run plans, the drug companies will pass those losses onto consumers who buy prescriptions through their privately run insurance companies. 

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