Regional Chamber Opposes State Issue 2 on Drug Prices

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber Board of Directors has voted to oppose the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act, the chamber announced Friday.

The act, appearing on the November ballot as Issue 2, prohibits the state from purchasing drugs at a net cost higher than what is paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The system used by the V.A., the chamber noted, does not reveal the price of drugs, which could cause “a significant administrative burden” to the state and opens the door for litigation if state agencies don’t meet requirements.

“If the state government has to pay less for medicine, private insurance would have to pay more to make up the difference,” said Guy Coviello, the chamber’s vice president of government affairs, in a release. “An alternative would be for pharmaceutical companies to charge the V.A. more to raise the state prices. … If the state already negotiated a price lower than the V.A., the price could go up, thus hurting the very people the proposal claims to be helping.”

According to the chamber, should the act become law, it would affect those benefiting from Medicaid and people in programs through the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Department of Health, Department of Administrative Services, Bureau of Workers Compensation and the state employee retirement system.

The Regional Chamber joins the ranks of several organzations urging voters to defeat Issue 2, including the Ohio Hospital Association, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Ohio Manufacturers Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Ohio and the American Legion Department of Ohio.

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