Issue 2: The Deceptive Rx Ballot Issue

Risky. Costly. Unworkable.


Should Ohio’s state agencies be forced to follow Issue 2, a deceptive and vaguely-worded ballot issue that would impose unworkable contracting requirements for state prescription drug purchases based on prices paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)?


Ohio health care experts, including three former Ohio Medicaid Directors, warn that Issue 2 would actually increase prescription drug costs and reduce patient access to medicines. They have lined up with Ohio medical professionals, patient advocates, military veterans’ organizations and business and labor groups to urge Ohioans to defeat Issue 2 on the November 7, 2017 statewide ballot.


Trusted policy experts from Democratic and Republican administrations at state and federal levels join Ohio organizations representing more than 30,000 doctors, nurses and pharmacists to oppose this misleading and risky proposal because:

  1. It is unworkable and will likely lead to more bureaucracy, red tape and lawsuits.
  2. It will do nothing to lower drug costs for the seven million Ohioans—that’s nearly two out of every three individuals—who are privately insured, have employer coverage, are on Medicare or otherwise do not obtain their medicines through state programs. They could even see their prescription drug costs go up if this ballot issue becomes law.
  3. It won’t lower drug costs for the state. If passed, Issue 2 could invalidate the many drug discount agreements Ohio already has in place with pharmaceutical companies for Medicaid and other state programs—potentially increasing state prescription drug costs by tens of millions of dollars annually.
  4. It threatens to reduce patient access to medicines.
  5. It puts current VA discounts at risk, and military veterans who get their prescriptions through the VA face the prospect of potential cost increases.
  6. Another provision would give Issue 2’s four named co-sponsors an unprecedented right to intervene—at taxpayer expense—in any post-election legal challenges that may be filed against the initiative or its implementation.
  7. It is nearly identical to a proposal that was voted down in California last year. Known as “Prop 61,” the California ballot issue was opposed by every major newspaper in the state—conservative, moderate and progressive alike.
  8. It is being proposed by a tax-exempt, billion-dollar organization that makes nearly 80 percent of its revenues from selling prescription drugs.

Additional Resources: 

>> Get the Facts on Issue 2 at
>> Download a List of Who Opposes the Rx Ballot Issue