Ohio Ballot Fight Over Drug Prices Sees $50M In Spending

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Backers of a fall ballot issue in Ohio aimed at lowering what the state pays for drugs have been outspent by the pharmaceutical industry-funded opposition nearly 4-1.

Campaign finance reports filed Thursday show Ohioans Against the Deceptive Rx Ballot Issue has spent $39.4 million against Issue 2 since July. It still has $7.8 million in the bank.

The proponents’ campaign, funded by the California-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, has spent $10.4 million and has about $9,000 in the bank.

The Ohio Drug Price Relief Act seeks to bar state agencies from buying drugs at prices higher than what’s paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs, which receives deep discounts.

The campaign for Issue 1, which guarantees certain rights to crime victims and their families, reported spending $5.4 million.