SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

October 1, 2017

Act/Vote to cut BIG PhRMA costs

Gotta “Vote” YES to cut those costs

The Governmental mess we have presently is not conducive to want to vote for anything. . believe me – I understand!  Almost beyond thinkable or watchable.  But please, value at least your own interests.  .  .  don’t let The pharmaceutical industry continue to win every issue they set their mind to.  PROFIT is the only issue for them.  Not safety, our health and/or welfare or whether their toxic meds even do anything remotely like they suggest they do.   If they don’t kill us outright, they bury us in debt     

I found a couple of articles in current papers online and have recapped some of each simply to make the point without regard to sources.  The FDA,   our court system, nor any part of our government will step up and protect us from the medical travesty we face.  Indeed – it continues to escalate almost to the point of no-return.     

For one thing, it’s hard to get Americans to pull together behind any single cause. . . we are so diverse, as we should be – no two the same.  Tho we are more alike than we are different – – whose gonna do it?. . . organize us, . . get on the same page?  Well, it  happens that someone is  doing his damnedest to bring those medical drug costs down!  Has been doing it in his state of California (the story below speaks of it).   No one has more money than the drug companies (and we all gave it to them) – they get what they want!  I can’t change stuff – stop them, make them behave. . . nor can you.  But together, on the same page at least on this one thing – WE CAN STOP THEM.  The turnout of our Ohio voters was pretty sad;  that was yesterday.  This can be a new day, dig down, you do care.  Stop this abuse. . . take back your power.  Our vote gives us at least – that.  I don’t – won’t use any PhRMA period, but that’s just me- – oddball that I am.  And I WILL  definitely vote for this cost reduction and the meager restrictions it will have on Pharmaceuticals.  It’s not enough, but it sure is better than nothing.   I vote YES on 2 – lower that cost!        Jan

 

Ohio’s drug price ballot issue: What’s really going on?


An initiative aimed at controlling drug prices that’s headed to Ohio’s November ballot has already caused much heated debate.

As both supporters and opponents of the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act — Issue 2 on the November ballot — air TV ads and make claims about the initiative’s impact, it can be difficult for voters to understand what’s really going on.  (ya think?)

What does the ballot issue say?

Issue 2 would require that the state, including the Ohio Department of Medicaid, pay the same or lower prices for prescription drugs as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs — which currently negotiates drug prices 20 to 24 percent less than other agencies. (helps, but rest of world pays far less than we do)

It would forbid any state agency or state-funded program — Medicaid, state prisons, the Ohio HIV Drug Assistance Program for example — from entering into a purchase agreement with drug manufacturers unless the net cost of the drug is the same or less than the VA pays.

 

The Californian behind Issue 2 — the prescription drug price relief proposal on Ohio’s Nov. 7 ballot — has only biting words for his opponent — Big Pharma.  Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, talked about the pharmaceutical industry’s “big lie” in a conference call with Ohio reporters on Wednesday.

The TV ad campaign waged by the industry-funded Ohioans Against the Deceptive Rx Ballot Issue falsely suggests that he and his nonprofit would profit financially from passage of Issue 2, Weinstein said.   “That’s been the primary basis for the shameful, sleazy campaign financed by dark money” provided by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the trade group representing drug makers, Weinstein said.

He also labeled some drug makers as “the same people who got Ohioans hooked on opioids in the first place.” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has sued five drug companies, alleging they violated laws in peddling opioids to create addicts and prop up profits.

Weinstein also called out pharmaceutical companies for refusing to disclose their contributions to oppose Issue 2 and challenged any of their chief executive officers to debate the merits of the issue. The Ohio Elections Commission is hearing a complaint on Thursday that anti-Issue 2 forces have illegally failed to disclose their contributors.

He estimates that drug companies will spend up to $60 million, or more, to beat back Issue 2. “Obviously, we’re the underdog, David vs. Goliath, and they are going to spend as much money as it takes.” Weinstein’s nonprofit is spending millions on the pro-Issue 2 campaign.

“This should be a debate between principles — not hired guns,” he said. “The CEOs of these companies know they cannot lean on the issue of drug pricing, so they have to change the issue.”

Dale Butland, spokesman for Ohioans Against Issue 2, said, ”“Lies? Since Issue 2 would neither reduce drug costs for consumers nor save money for taxpayers, forget Burger King — Mr. Weinstein’s campaign is now the home of the Whopper. Which is why newspaper editorials all across the state … are urging Ohioans to vote ‘no’ on Issue 2.”

Opponents and the drug industry claim such a scheme would be difficult to implement and could backfire, causing drug shortages and higher prices for other consumers.

Weinstein said his AIDS nonprofit is recognized as the largest of its kind in the world and serves more than 820,000 clients internationally, including 17,000 in Ohio. “We won’t be making any money off this … All dollars earned go back to our mission,  Voters in Ohio should know the ads they are seeing are being paid for by the money they pay for drugs,” he said.

  • Ohio’s Issue 2 is nearly identical to one defeated by 53 percent of the vote in California last year. Big Pharma spent $110 million on the campaign; Weinstein’s nonprofit spent $19 million.

rludlow@dispatch.com

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