[Archive] Issue 2: Drug Price Standards Initiative (2017)

On Nov. 7, 2017, Ohio voters rejected Ohio Issue 2. Although the initiative will not become law, HPIO will keep this resource page available for future reference as future policy decisions on this topic are considered.

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.


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On Nov. 7, 2017, Ohioans voted 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.

Click here for full certified ballot language

If passed by voters, the statute would have:

  • 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 information

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Newspaper endorsements

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Note: More endorsements will be added as they become available

Media coverage

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Research and resources on drug pricing

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State-level issues

Federal and other issues

For or against?: Organizations that have taken a position on Issue 2

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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.