Month-long delay by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted was an illegal political move by Husted at bidding of a pharma law firm that contributed over $44,000 to his elections over the years.
COLUMBUS, OH (February 4, 2016) Advocates from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and members of Ohioans for Fair Drug Prices today welcomed news that Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted finally forwarded ballot initiative language for The Ohio Drug Price Relief Act to Ohio’s General Assembly for its consideration. Husted was legally required under the Ohio Constitution to transmit the proposed law to the legislature on January 4th, but he instead defied his statutory obligation regarding certification of voter signatures and the transmission of the initiative language and instead returned the signatures to local election boards for recertification. The ballot initiative will amend Ohio law to require state programs to pay the same or less for prescription medications as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Backers plan to have the initiative appear on Ohio’s November 2016 presidential election ballot.
“We are gratified that Secretary Husted finally transmitted the drug pricing ballot initiative to Ohio’s General Assembly; however, he had absolutely no legal standing under Ohio law to invalidate our signatures once they had been validated and revalidated by local election boards—nor to disqualify signatures in Cuyahoga County,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
“Jon Husted—at pharma’s bidding—robbed us of critical time needed to ensure this drug pricing initiative gets on the November ballot. We will continue to pursue legal actions that we have pending in the Supreme Court of Ohio as well as in federal court in order to get the time we need to get this important measure before Ohio voters in November.”
MEDIA AVAILABILITY—All Day Thursday, February 4th
CONTACT: AHF’s Ged Kenslea, 323.791.5526 mobile [email protected]
 V.A. pricing is generally believed to be 20% to 24% lower than for almost any other government program.