Ohio overwhelmingly rejects prescription drug initiative, Issue 2

Prescription Painkillers

FILE – In this Aug. 5, 2010, file photo, a pharmacy technician poses for a picture with hydrocodone and acetaminophen tablets, also known as Vicodin, at the Oklahoma Hospital Discount Pharmacy in Edmond, Okla. Federal health regulators will bolster warning labels on the most widely used prescription painkillers, part of a multi-pronged federal effort to […]

Ohio voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot issue, which aimed to control the price state agencies pay for prescription drugs.

The Associated Press called the race at 8:18pm Tuesday.

With 6.64% of precincts reporting, the vote currently stands at:

  • 101,043 voting YES on the measure (20.48%)
  • 392,263 voting NO on the measure (79.52%)

The Ohio Drug Price Relief Act seeks to curb prescription drug prices paid by the state for prisoners, injured workers and poor people.

The citizen-initiated measure would have required the state to pay no more for prescription drugs than the Department of Veterans Affairs’ lowest price, which is often deeply discounted.

Supporters, led by the California-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, say it would save the state millions and could force the industry to reduce prices elsewhere. An opposition campaign funded by the pharmaceutical industry says it would reduce access to medicines and raise prices for veterans and others.

Reported spending has already topped $65 million, making Issue 2 the most expensive ballot campaign in state history.

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