Why I’m voting yes for the ohio drug price relief act


For many, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is lunch. It’s easy, doesn’t need to be kept cold, and is fairly inexpensive to make. But for thousands of kids in Ohio, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich could be deadly.

As the mother of a child with a severe peanut allergy, we carry our EpiPen everywhere. Coming into contact with peanuts becomes a life or death situation. Our options for leading full lives – going to school, to church, and even to the grocery store – become impossible without an EpiPen. We have to buy it, no matter the cost.

I am voting yes for the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act this November because we need to do something to help people like me. We have been stuck paying hundreds of dollars per box for a one-time use drug to save my child’s life. Drug companies have been making record profits on the backs of families like mine, who are forced to buy life saving drugs for exorbitant prices. Of course, I will pay anything to save the life of my child. But it is ridiculous to be forced to choose between food and life-saving medicine while drug company CEOs live a life of luxury when we have a better path.

Right now, the CEO of a big drug company is on trial for securities fraud after raising the cost of a drug for cancer and AIDS patients over 5,000 percent! He is just like every other greedy drug company CEO – they keep raising the price of drugs even though some drugs only cost pennies to make. Voting yes in November empowers us and gives us the ability to take back control of our own future.

The Relief Act will hold drug companies’ feet to the fire and lower drug prices for over 4 million Ohioans, including 164,000 kids, and save taxpayers $400 million by allowing the state to purchase drugs at the same discounted price as the Veterans Administration. We know it works because the VA has been using this formula for over two decades with veterans saving money on the cost of prescription drugs.

There have been some ads on TV and Facebook paid for by the drug companies saying that voting for the Act would hurt veterans and taxpayers. They say that drug companies will stop selling drugs in Ohio, but that’s just not the way they operate. Drug companies will sell their product to whomever buys it, no matter the consequence – we’ve seen that. We’ve seen thousands die because they started taking “non-addictive” opiates that drug reps peddle to doctors, and then move on to heroin when the prescription runs out. They have been making money hand over fist by creating a drug crisis. All of these ads telling you to vote “no” on this issue are bought and paid for by drug companies. They will tell you anything not to lose money and continue putting profits over the lives of people.

At a time when Washington politicians can’t do anything and our healthcare system needs reformed, voting yes for the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act will allow ‘we the people’ to take this matter into our own hands. Politicians dole out millions in tax breaks to the same drug companies that overcharge for critical medicine and lie about the addictive properties of opiates. I’m tired of being held hostage by the overpricing and corporate greed of drug companies. The reason they can charge so much is because we let them.

A no vote is a vote for status quo, paying too much in drug costs, and letting these companies get away with it all. Enough is enough. Vote yes on the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act this November.

By Bethany Schweitzer

Column courtesy of Bethany Schweitzer and Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices.

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