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Fighting drug prices on the airwaves

By Alan Johnson GateHouse Ohio Media Published: June 19, 2017 4:00 AM

Both sides in the contested Drug Price Relief Act already have aired television ads and are expected to fill the air waves statewide in the months between now and the Nov. 8 election when the issue will appear on the ballot.

Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices, the group backing the ballot issue, has run TV ads but will have a smaller budget than their opponents. Among the three ads aired thus far is one featuring former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia, a disabled Vietnam veteran who was head of the Veterans Administration under President Obama.

In the 30-second ad, Cleland accuses drug makers of "running false ads deceiving doctors and veterans to stop reform."

"I know. As a wounded veteran and the former administrator of Veterans Affairs, drug companies don't know sacrifice. But you and I do," Cleland says.

The ad ad can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?

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v=HlubsZisoVQ&feature=youtu.be

Ohioans Against the Deceptive Rx Ballot Issue is certain to run far more advertising, fueled by tens of millions of dollars in contributions from pharmaceutical manufacturers that oppose the issue. The four ads run so far feature a variety of spokespeople, including Barbara Edwards, former Ohio Medicaid director, who argues the Drug Price Relief Act is deceptive and unworkable.

"This dangerous proposal won't reduce drug costs for Medicaid and other state programs," Edwards said, adding that it may "increase health care costs for millions of Ohioans and make it harder for vulnerable families to access their medications."

Edwards ad can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?

v=xt7_piTvwXo&feature=youtu.be


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