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Press Release

Yes on Issue 2: Drug Company Lobbyists and Huge Profits Mean Families Pay Big Bucks for Prescriptions

Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices
Posted on: 28 Aug 17

A new report issued by Case Western Reserve University Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Law Maxwell J. Mehlman finds that voting Yes on Issue 2, the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act, could save hundreds of millions of dollars for Ohioans. The report also finds that drug companies protecting their own profits and lobbying lawmakers keeps drug prices absurdly expensive, not research and development as they claim.

“Prescriptions are necessities and drug companies know that. They are priced based on what the market will bear, so without action, prices will continue to rise,” said Professor Mehlman. “The only way to stop drug industry price-gouging is for the people to take direct action and vote yes for Issue 2. Based on my research, it’s workable, and it’s important not to be misled by arguments that seek to protect drug companies over people.”

The report outlines:

Why voting Yes on Issue 2 is necessary and urgent:
Drug prices and drug company profits are unconscionable. Retail drugs accounted for 10 percent of national health spending in 2014 and 21 percent of employer health insurance spending. The U.S. spends twice as much per capita on prescription drugs than the average spent by 19 other industrialized countries.

Explains how the issue will work when it is passed:
The Act requires the state to (1) determine what prescription drugs are purchased by the VA and how much it pays; (2) determine how much the affected state programs pay for the same drugs; and (3) take steps to conform what state programs pay to what the VA pays. The systems used to purchase and derive the prices of prescription drugs purchased by government programs are absurdly complicated, in no small part because of drug industry efforts to maintain high prices, which is why the Act therefore leaves certain aspects of how it will be put into effect to be resolved after it is adopted. What is important to understand is that the objectives of the Act, to lower prices for the state and send a strong signal to the pharmaceutical industry, are attainable.

And refutes seven main claims made by a report paid for by drug companies against the issue:
By repeatedly referring to implementation challenges, the report may be implying that, if forces opposed to the Act control the legislative and executive branches of government, they will refuse to take the necessary legislative and administrative steps to implement the Act. Ohio voters must not be deterred by such anti-democratic threats. Upon passage, this ballot initiative will express the will of the people of the state. Elected officials who fail to carry out that will should expect to face the consequences at the ballot box.

The full report can be read here.

The Yes on Issue 2 campaign is a broad-based, bi-partisan coalition. More than 200,000 Ohio voters signed petitions to put an amendment on the ballot in November that will lower drug prices for millions of Ohioans and save taxpayers millions of dollars annually, reduce healthcare costs for everyone and teach greedy drug companies and their CEOs a lesson.

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Paid for by Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices

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Last updated on: 28/08/2017

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