How truthful is the EpiPen ad put out by the Yes on Issue 2 camp - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

How truthful is the EpiPen ad put out by the Yes on Issue 2 campaign? (WATCH INSIDE)

(Source: WOIO) (Source: WOIO)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

In the past week you may have seen the latest campaign commercial for the Yes on Issue 2 camp in which two mothers talk about the rising cost of EpiPens which are used to control severe allergic reactions. 

Here is the ad:

Fact Checking:

In the ad the moms talk about the expensive cost of an EpiPen. It has been well documented that there has been an extreme rise to the cost of EpiPens. In fact because of the cost and way the the drug manufacture was abusing a rebate program, Mylan entered into a $465 million settlement in August with the Department of Justice according to Bloomberg. 

Cleveland 19 has reached out to Dennis Willard who runs the Yes on Issue 2 campaign to ask why the ad was extremely vague and does not explain how the two mothers would save on EpiPens if the issue passes? We are waiting for a response. 

In a series of emails with Willard, Cleveland 19 Reporter Dan DeRoos asked the following questions: 

  • Of the two mothers in the ad, are either or both on a state run insurance plan like Medicaid?
  • If neither mother is on Medicaid how would they benefit from Issue 2 passing, concerning EpiPens.
  • If Issue 2 passes will anyone with private insurance save money on EpiPens?

?Willard has refused to answer those questions and instead made this official statement, "Big drug companies have been spending millions and millions of dollars airing misleading ads, but voters see through their lies and will vote yes on Issue 2 to lower drug prices for 4 million Ohioans, including 164,000 children, and save taxpayers $400 million a year. Those are numbers that Ohioans can take to the bank." 

Cleveland 19 has covered Issue 2 extensively and answered the question "What is Issue 2 in Ohio?" 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. The VA gets big discounts on drugs for a variety of reasons, deeper discounts than the state receives for the same drug in some cases.

Using that as a guide there are more questions about the ad that Willard has not answered for us at this point. 

The only way for the two mothers in the ad to save on EpiPens is if they are enrolled and receive their medication from a state run program like Medicaid. We have asked Willard if either mother is enrolled in Medicaid and he has not answered the question. 

The fact is the average person who has private insurance would not see any saving on EpiPens if Issue 2 passes. In fact no one is sure what would happen to people on the private market if the initiative passes. There is a chance that is drug companies are forced to sell drugs to the state at a negotiated lower price, they may pass the cost on to the private consumer. 

Follow Dan DeRoos on Facebook and Twitter. Have a question you want him to answer? Email him at dderoos@woio.com

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