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CLEVELAND — In recent years, doctors nationwide have lamented ever-rising drug prices that are limiting patient access to crucial medicines and undermining hospital finances.

But a ballot initiative in Ohio is flipping that script. Several prominent physician and hospital groups are joining pharmaceutical companies to oppose a proposal to rein in drug costs paid by state agencies.

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  • n.r. jones sounds much better informed about this than I am. Her concerns about the politics of the proposed legislation sound well-founded as does her criticism of the current article.
    Unanswered questions include why the OMA needs to make a statement at all and why it aligns itself with the pharmaceutical industry. While benefits cannot be known with certainty, critics should propose modification or realistic alternatives that will lower drug prices. Further I wonder how much drug companies could raise prices with national chains and mail-order PBM’s filling so many prescriptions.

  • Let’s set the record straight. This story implies that all healthcare professionals are against Issue 2. In fact, Issue 2 is backed by National Nurses United, the nation’s largest nurses union, and by the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians. The board of directors of the Ohio State Medical Assn. has influential members (Dr. Marvin Rorick and Dr. Holly Thacker, among them) who have lived well off drug industry financial support; the association’s board secret vote to oppose Issue 2 has never been fully documented or explained. The association prexy, Chatham says “we have closely” reviewed Issue 2. Let’s see the association’s analysis. I doubt if it exists. Did the reporter ask to see it? OSMA’s support is knee-jerkism. Certainly Issue 2 was not invited to provide a competing argument. Same with the hospital association. Which reminds me – Dr. Cosgrove, head of the Cleveland Clinic, has indicated his sympathy for Issue 2 while (politely) ripping the drug industry for charging its U.S. customers 3, 4 and sometimes 10 times more than it charges its foreign customers.

    A phony argument (taken out of PhRMA’s playbook) that the author gullibly repeats: Oh, dear what about those drugs not on the VA’s formulary, so confusing!! Stop being confused. Issue 2 does not prevent those drugs from being purchased. It simply says drugs that are on the VA formulary shall be bought at VA prices.

    Another reporting problem: why does the reporter believe anything Dale Butland has to say. Anything he says would be impeachable in a court of law. This same Dale Butland in 2003 was tearing up the pea patch, saying the drug industry was ruthless and predatory. Read the Cincinnati Enquirer stories from that period. Now he’s talking a different story because he’s on PhRMA’s payroll.

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