drug prices

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A Democratic lawmaker is introducing a bill that would require drug companies to slash their prices. The legislation is similar to the measure voters overwhelmingly voted down on last year’s ballot.

Facing bipartisan hostility over high drug prices in an election year, the pharmaceutical industry's biggest trade group boosted revenue by nearly a fourth in 2016 and spread the millions collected among hundreds of lobbyists, politicians and patient groups, new filings show.

Drug prices are too high, and we had better do something about it. That is the nutshell conclusion of a 201-page report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Two years ago, Margaret O'Neill brought her 5-year-old daughter to Children's Hospital Colorado because the band of tissue that connected her tongue to the floor of her mouth was too tight. The condition, called being literally "tongue-tied," made it hard for the girl to make "th" sounds.

It's a common problem with a simple fix: an outpatient procedure to snip the tissue.

During a preoperative visit, the surgeon offered to throw in a surprising perk. Should we pierce her ears while she is under?

No on Issue 2 Campaign Manager Curt Steiner (left) and Yes on Issue 2 spokesperson Dennis Willard (right) speak Tuesday night after Issue 2 was strongly defeated by Ohio voters.
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

The debate over Issue 2 stirred a fight over the rising cost of drug prices and if the proposal would actually bring those prices down. It was a fight that ultimately became the most expensive ballot campaign in Ohio history. But all of that money and debate will not bring any significant change for the drug industry.

Lawmakers in the nation's capital have yet to grapple with rising drug costs. But in Ohio, voters are being asked by a ballot initiative to consider making a law that would require the state to pay no more for prescription drugs than the federal Department of Veterans Affairs does.

The Drug Price Relief Act, better known as Ohio Issue 2, has been promoted and pilloried in a dizzying crush of robocalls, direct mail and ads on TV and radio.

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Drug companies who’ve spent millions of dollars fighting a November ballot issue have made it the most expensive in Ohio history.

medicine
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The state budget office says its required analysis of Issue 2 shows Ohio could save money if voters approve the drug price initiative next month. But the report says there are many variables that make it impossible to predict how much the state would save.

Former U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich hits the campaign trail to support drug price ballot Issue 2.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Former Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich will be starring in ads and on the campaign trail in support of the drug-price ballot question known as Issue 2. But his presence isn’t the only new element to the campaign.

Rory Rennick performs street magic in downtown Columbus. He said  he is using the tricks to show the tactics of Issue 2 Opponents.
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

Two sides are battling over an issue on this fall’s ballot that attempts to lower the costs of prescription drugs. As expected big drug companies have landed right in the middle of the fight. But exactly who is funding that side remains a big question mark.

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