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Round 2: Tavares Wants To Take Different Path To Lower Drug Prices

Andy Chow
Sen. Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus) discusses bill to lower prescription drug prices.

A state 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. The senator says there are some key differences that might help its chances, though Democrats are deep in the minority.

The bill would require state health care programs, state pension programs and private insurance companies to all be afforded the same discount on drugs that the pharmaceutical companies offer to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Democratic Senator Charleta Tavares of Columbus says her bill takes the element of last year’s Issue 2 that people like, which is to lower drug prices, and throws out the rest.

“We are not an outside California non-profit executive…by it being a bill it’s Ohio legislators that are going to debate and develop the final bill with our stakeholders,” said Tavares.

Opponents of Issue 2 also said requiring these discounts could take leverage away from programs like Medicaid when they negotiate their own drug prices.

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