COLUMBUS, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After several attempts over the past year to thwart a ballot measure known as the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act from ever getting on the ballot and placed before voters, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today certified 120,030 voter signatures in support of the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act, a ballot measure that would lower drug prices for state programs in Ohio, as valid. The signatures represent far more than the 91,677 valid signatures needed to qualify the measure. As a result, the measure now goes before the state’s voters “…at the next regular or general election…” which will be in November 2017.
According to Ohio law, proponents of the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act ballot measure needed to submit 91,677 valid voter signatures (the number is based on at least 3% of the total votes cast for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election).
According to Secretary Husted’s letter of certification dated September 30, 2016:
“The petition the Committee filed with this office on September 12, 2016 contains a total of 120,030 valid signatures on behalf of the Initiated Statute and signatures from 48 counties meet or exceed 1.5% of the total number of votes cast for the office of governor in the respective counties at the last gubernatorial election. The Constitutional requirements are thereby fully satisfied. Accordingly, pursuant to Section 1b of the Ohio Constitution, the proposed law shall be submitted to electors at the next regular or general election occurring subsequent to 125 days after the supplementary petition was filed.”
“We were confident that we had more than enough signatures to meet the requirements necessary to qualify the measure and are pleased that Secretary of State Husted certified the signatures today and cleared the initiative to appear before voters,” said Tracy Jones, Midwest Regional Director & National Director of Advocacy Campaigns and a proponent of the Drug Price Relief Act. “This ballot measure will compel Ohio officials to pay no more for drugs for state programs than what the Department of Veterans Affairs pays, and we are now eager to bring this important issue before voters next year.”
The Ohio Drug Price Relief Act will amend Ohio law to require state programs to pay the same or less for prescription medications as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs1. Backers intended to have the initiative appear on Ohio’s November 2016 presidential election ballot, but obstructionist—and backers believe, illegal—moves by Secretary of State Husted have forced the ballot measure proponents to aim for the November 2017 Ohio ballot instead.
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1 V.A. pricing is generally believed to be 20% to 24% lower than for almost any other government program.