This November, Ohioans will be asked to vote on a deceptive ballot issue that could raise prescription drug prices and limit access to needed medications for military veterans. Known as the “Ohio Drug Price Relief Act,” the issue could harm healthcare for veterans.
Proponents of this issue have put forth a risky plan that demands the VA extend its discounted prescription drug prices for veterans to non-veterans. A California-based group called the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has gathered enough signatures to put the issue on the Ohio ballot this fall that would require all State of Ohio government drug pricing to be no higher than the prices paid by the VA. The same group attempted a ballot initiative with the same language in California in 2016 (Proposition 61) and it failed…with veterans groups overwhelmingly opposing it.
IAVA stands with many other veterans groups and opposes Issue 2 in Ohio because it could result in increased drug costs for veterans. Ohio health care experts, including three former Ohio Medicaid Directors, warn that Issue 2 would actually increase prescription drug costs and reduce patient access to medicines. They have lined up with Ohio medical professionals, patient advocates, military veterans’ organizations and business and labor groups to urge Ohioans to defeat Issue 2 on the November 7, 2017 statewide ballot. IAVA joins trusted policy experts from Democratic and Republican administrations at state and federal levels join Ohio organizations representing more than 30,000 doctors, nurses and pharmacists to oppose this misleading proposal.
While seeking lower drug prices is fine, it should not be done by linking pricing to veterans’ benefits. This puts veterans’ benefits in jeopardy. For more information on this ballot initiative, check out www.DeceptiveRxIssue.org