The Health Policy Institute of Ohio is a nonprofit organization that partners with policymakers and other stakeholders engaged in the policymaking process to provide the independent and nonpartisan analysis needed to create evidence-informed state health policy. Since voters are policymakers in the case of a ballot initiative, HPIO created this page to educate voters by making information on state Issue 2 easily accessible. The links to analyses and references contained on this page are for educational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views of HPIO including HPIO staff, board members and funders.
On Nov. 7, 2017, Ohioans will vote on Issue 2 – a ballot initiative that would require state agencies and programs to purchase prescription drugs at prices no higher than what the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs pays for the same medication.
If passed by voters, the statute would:
- Require the State of Ohio, including its state departments, agencies and entities, to not pay more for prescription drugs than the price paid by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Establish that the individual petitioners responsible for proposing the law have a direct and personal stake in defending the law; require the State to pay petitioners’ reasonable attorney fees and other expenses; require the petitioners to pay $10,000 to the State if the law is held by a court to be unenforceable and limit petitioners’ personal liability to that amount; and require the Attorney General to defend the law if challenged in court.
Click here for Ohio Secretary of State page on upcoming ballot issues (includes statements for and against Issue 2, as well as other ballot information)
Nonpartisan video explaining Issue 2 from the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office (3 min.)
Indirect state statute
In Ohio, citizens who gather the required number of signatures have the ability to propose legislation to the legislature. The legislature then has the option to enact, defeat or amend the measure. If the legislation is defeated, proponents may gather additional signatures to place the measure on the ballot, which is what happened in the case of Issue 2. Learn more about indirect state statutes here.
More informationRead more
Note: If you find a news article or other resource that is not included and that you think would be useful to Ohio voters as they make their decision on this issue, please submit it to HPIO Vice President of Strategic Communications Nick Wiselogel.
Supporters of Issue 2 campaign site
Opponents of Issue 2 campaign site
Newspaper endorsementsRead more
- “Issue 2 could drive up price of Ohio drugs,” (Warren) Tribune Chronicle, Sept. 27, 2017
- “Editorial: Vote ‘no’ on Ohio’s Issue 2,” Canton Repository, Sept. 24, 2017
- “Editorial: Drug-price issue risky, speculative,” Columbus Dispatch, Sept.18, 2017
- “Reject Issue 2, the drug pricing proposal: endorsement editorial,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, Sept. 15, 2017
- “Issue 2, all message and too little detail,” Akron Beacon-Journal, Sept. 11, 2017
Note: More endorsements will be added as they become available
Media coverageRead more
- “ISSUE 2: Helping you understand the hottest issue on Ohio’s ballot,” A collection of coverage from the Dayton Daily News
- “Outside experts assess Ohio’s ballot issue on prescription-drug prices,” Columbus Dispatch, Sept. 4, 2017
- “Ballot Battle: Issue 2 Galvanizes Both Sides Of Drug Price Debate,” WOSU Public Media, Sept. 19, 2017
- “Issue 2 fact check: Are all of the VA’s prices public record?,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, Sept. 20, 2017
- “Issue 2 debate: Prescription drug question often misunderstood,” Marietta Times, Aug. 26, 2017
- “Issue 2 raising questions about drug costs for public retirees,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, Aug. 22, 2017
- “Language for prescription drug issue unanimously approved,” Toledo Blade, Aug. 17, 2017
- “Drug-price ballot failure in California could mean bad prognosis in Ohio,” Toledo Blade, Aug. 20, 2017
Research and resources on drug pricingRead more
- Center for State Drug Pricing (a resource page with technical and strategic assistance for states) — National Academy for State Health Policy
- State Strategies to Address Rising Prices Caused by Health Care Consolidations — A brief by National Academy for State Health Policy
- State Efforts to Lower Consumer Cost-Sharing for High-Cost Prescription Drugs: Stakeholder Perspectives — A brief published by Urban Institute and Georgetown University Health Policy Institute
- Lowering Drug Costs: Transparency Legislation Sets Off Flurry of New State Approaches — A post from the National Academy for State Health Policy’s State Health Policy Blog
- Update: What’s New in State Drug Pricing Legislation? — A brief by National Academy for State Health Policy
Federal and other issues
- Value-Based Pricing For Pharmaceuticals In The Trump Administration — Health Affairs blog
- The High Cost of Prescription Drugs in the United States: Origins and Prospects for Reform — A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association
- Regulating Drug Prices: U.S. Policy Alternatives in a Global Context — A brief published by the Rand Corporation
- Prizing Insurance: Prescription Drug Insurance as Innovation Incentive — Harvard Journal of Law and Technology
- The VA Drug Pricing Model: What Senators Should Know — A brief published by the Heritage Foundation
- Pharmaceutical Policy and Pricing: Are Other Countries Getting Greater Value? — A brief published by Kaiser Family Foundation
- Drug Licenses: A New Model For Pharmaceutical Pricing — A study published in the journal Health Affairs
- Large Majorities Favor Wide Range of Policy Changes to Curb Prescription Drug Costs, Including Those That Give Government a Greater Role in Negotiating or Limiting Prices — A brief published by the Kaiser Family Foundation
For or against?: Organizations that have taken a position on Issue 2Read more
The chart below highlights organizations that have taken a public position on Issue 2, as of Sept. 21, 2017. The lists were taken from the official campaign websites for both sides of the issue.