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Supporters Of Drug Price Issue Want Info On Opponent Finances

prescription medicine bottles
David Kessler
Flickr Creative Commons

Supporters of the November ballot issue expected to be the most expensive in Ohio history are trying to get opponents of the measure to release details on their finances.

Issue 2, also known as the "Ohio Drug Price Relief Act," would bar state agencies from buying drugs at a price higher than what's paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which receives large discounts. If the agency can't buy at that price, they can't buy the drug at all.

The group backing Issue 2, which is expected to be the most expensive ballot issue in Ohio history, has filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission, demanding that the opposition reveal its donors.

But Dale Butland with the “no” side says it’s no secret pharmaceutical companies such as those listed on its website are funding the charge against the “Yes On 2” campaign.

“They want to distract attention from their own failing campaign so they filed this baseless complaint,” Butland says about the group Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices.

“I don’t think it’s a distraction that drug companies are hiding how much money they’re giving," says Yes On 2 spokesman Dennis Willard about the group Ohioans Against the Deceptive Rx Ballot Issue.

The “no” side does not have to disclose individual contributors, but drug makers Amgen and Biogen have admitted donating more than $7.7 million.