The Drug Price Relief Act, an initiated statute proposal to prevent state agencies from entering into contracts for the purchase of prescription drugs unless the price paid is the same or lower than the special discounts provided to the Veterans Administration, will not appear on the November ballot.
Proponents of the Drug Price Relief Act failed to collect the required 91,677 valid signatures by the July 6 deadline after the Ohio General Assembly failed to act on the initiative. Proponents are continuing to collect signatures in hopes of getting the measure on the November 2017 statewide ballot.
The initiated statute process involves the collection of sufficient valid signatures (in this case 91,677) to present a proposed statute to the Ohio General Assembly for enactment. Once the signatures are validated, legislators have four months to act before another signature gathering process begins. Collection of a sufficient number of valid signatures in the second round of gathering results in the measure being placed on the statewide ballot.
In the case of the Drug Price Relief Act, after the initial signatures were presented, the Ohio General Assembly opted to take no action. At the conclusion of four months (June 4), proponents would have had to collect another 91,677 valid signatures by the July 6 deadline to get the initiative on the November 2016 ballot. They opted to not try to collect that many signatures in just slightly over one month. Proponents have until early September to collect sufficient signatures to get the measure on the November 2017 ballot.
Ohioans for Fair Drug Prices, a political action committee backed by California-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, is behind the initiated statute effort. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) opposes the proposed law saying that, as written, it is unworkable, vague, and incomplete. PhARMA has also filed a lawsuit challenging the validity of the originally filed petitions.