Prescription Drug pricing measure filed with 22k signatures.

8 Replies to “Prescription Drug pricing measure filed with 22k signatures.”

    1. Anne Beal

      The proponents think such a law will put downward pressure on drug prices for everybody on private plans. That’s not how cost-shifting works, of course, but as HL Mencken observes, nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

  1. G

    Drey Samuelson…operative for Tim Johnson and Rick Weiland in a couple of these pictures….clearly a liberal agenda in pushing all these ballot measures.

  2. Anonymous

    So they got 22k in less than 2 months?! That’s either impressive or fishy…

    Mickelson couldn’t clear 20k and he’d been circulating 3 times as long, including during fair season

  3. Anne Beal

    I don’t even understand it, it would apply only to drugs purchased by state agencies? How many people get their drugs through state agencies? Don’t most of us get our drugs from pharmacies?

  4. Anne Beal

    I have read the text over. It says the state agencies can’t pay more for a drug than the VA pays. What if the VA doesn’t pay anything for a drug, because it’s not in their formulary? What if the pharmaceutical company refuses to sell it to anybody else for that price?
    Does anybody know how this works?

  5. William Beal

    Even the wording of the initiative acknowledges the legal battles that will result if this measure passes. A similar measure failed to pass in California last year and another is currently on the ballot in Ohio (Ohio Issue 2).

    If enacted, the measure would prohibit state programs, such as Medicaid and state employee health plans, from paying more for a medication than does the federal Veterans Health Administration. The Department of Veterans Affairs receives heavily reduced prices for prescription drugs.

    “section 4. … Any state agency MAY SEEK waivers of federal law, rule or regulation ‘ necessary to implement this Act.

    Section 5. lf any provision of this Act is challenged in court, the committee of individuals responsible for circulating the petition to qualify this Act for the ballot are deemed to have a direct and personal stake in defending this Act from constitutionar or other challenges. lf the Act is chalrenged, committee members SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE LEGAL STANDING to assert the member’s direct and personal stake by defending the Act’s validity.” (emphasis mine)

    Critics worry Issue 2 would be nearly impossible to enforce.

    For one thing, the VA’s final discounts are deemed proprietary and kept secret. For another, it’s unclear which state agencies would be included under the initiative.

    In addition, the state’s Medicaid program already receives discounts from drug companies. Unlike the VA, though, federal law requires it to cover the vast majority of drugs, making price negotiation more difficult.

    “You can’t get the VA prices if you don’t do VA things,” said Walid Gellad, co-director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at the University of Pittsburgh. “To just say, ‘We’re not going to pay more than the VA’ is difficult.”

    Drug pricing is complex and already has caused head-scratching among policymakers and academics, noted Rachel Sachs, an associate professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, who studies the issue. In a recent congressional hearing, lawmakers struggled to identify the key source of price spikes, or the best place to attempt regulation.

    But those are nuances that are tough to explain in a radio spot, or on a mailed flyer.

  6. William Beal

    From NPR – Voters Confused By Ohio’s Ballot Question On Drug Prices

    “The Drug Price Relief Act, better known as Ohio Issue 2, has been promoted and pilloried in a dizzying crush of robocalls, direct mail and ads on TV and radio.

    Opponents say the law would be impossible to implement, could limit patients’ access to medicines and wouldn’t necessarily save money. Proponents are selling the initiative as a form of rebellion that could save millions of dollars in an era of health care anxiety.

    And in the run-up to Election Day, voters say it’s difficult to make sense of it all.

    Sean Hundley, 30, works at a coffee shop in the trendy Short North neighborhood in Columbus, the state capital. He is covered by Medicaid and said he has seen plenty of advertising from both sides, but he can’t figure out who is telling the truth.

    “Everything they say, not knowing who to trust — it would just lead me not to cast a vote,” he said.

    This reaction highlights one of the difficulties of asking voters to sort out such a complex issue…

    Take Barbara Herr, a 64-year-old paralegal. She is a lifelong Democrat, she said, and in some ways is the issue’s target voter: a self-described political junkie who voted for Sanders in his presidential campaign for the Democratic nomination… “It just is very confusing,” Herr said, reflecting on her impending Election Day decision. “I have read quite a bit about it, and I don’t think it achieves much of anything.”


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