Voters reject Ohio’s Issue 2, drug price measure

Proponents said the act's goal is to control prescription drug spending while opponents said it would increase drug prices for some

prescription drugs generic

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – Voters have rejected Ohio’s Issue 2 — a controversial ballot issue that has caused debate across the state.

When questioned about why Issue Two failed, spokesman Dennis Willard pointed the finger at everything but the issue itself.

He pointed out the opposition spent upwards of $70 million fighting the measure and blamed television advertising for confusing voters.

As for the opposition, the campaign manager for No on Issue Two Curt Steiner says voters were clearly not confused. Steiner claims their polling of voters when it got to Election Day showed the vast majority of them were voting “definitely no.

Watch: Supporters weigh in on Issue 2 results 

Under the measure, the state would not be allowed to enter into a purchase agreement for prescription drugs unless the net cost is the same or lower than the lowest price paid for the same drug by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The law would also require state payment of attorney fees and expenses for defense of the law.

In October, WKBN aired a forum in which both sides discussed their reasons for supporting or opposing the measure.

Watch: Complete Issue 2 forum

The  “Vote Yes” campaign focused on voters’ negative opinions of pharmaceutical companies. The “Vote No” campaign wanted voters to trust opinions of local medical professionals and newspapers while painting a major financial backer of the “Vote Yes” campaign as an outsider trying to influence their vote.

A fiscal analysis released earlier this year from the Governor’s Office of Budget and Management that ultimately found there to be “insufficient information to estimate savings” that would come from the measure.

When Willard was asked if Issue 2’s downfall could have anything to do with an inability to verify that it would actually save Ohioans $400 million, such a possibility was rejected.

Read more: Fiscal analysis of Issue 2

With this election virtually settled, the Yes on Issue Two camp is looking to move on to the next state. Voters in South Dakota and Washington D.C. will likely be the next to have their airwaves filled.

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