Debate over drug pricing ballot issue heats up

Columbus (AP) - Debate is heating up over an initiative headed to Ohio's fall ballot that's aimed at controlling drug prices.

The Ohio Drug Price Relief Act is a citizen-initiated statute that seeks to bar state agencies from buying drugs at prices higher than those paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which receives deep discounts.

The proposal is supported by the California-based AIDS healthcare foundation.

A similar ballot measure failed last year in California, after the pharmaceutical industry spent $109 million to defeat it.

Supporters say the caps will save the state money and possibly bring down drug costs.

Opponents argue the restrictions could reduce access to medicines and potentially raise prices for veterans and others.

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