COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — As Ohioans experience record high inflation numbers, new legislation in the statehouse could help lower prescription drug prices.
Republican representatives Tom Young (R-Washington Twp.) and Scott Lipps (R-Franklin) introduced House Bill 715. They said it would establish a Canadian prescription drug importation program to help decrease the cost of prescription drugs in Ohio.
“Healthcare is a massive issue that everyone deserves,” Lipps said. “So, we have to look under every rock.”
“How can you have an FDA approved drug manufactured outside the United States that’s cost-effective and we pay an astronomical price for our citizens? It just doesn’t make any sense,” Young said. “And some of them are lifesaving.”
The bill is already gaining bipartisan support.
“We need to get these industries in check,” Representative Thomas West (D-Canton) said.
West said Canada’s drug prices are 46% lower than what they are in Ohio.
“Even before the inflationary issues that we’re seeing today in our communities, at the drug store, gas stations, etcetera, prescription drug costs have always been soaring,” West said.
“We have the highest priced prescriptions in the world,” Young said. “Period.”
The Ohio Board of Pharmacy would be the regulator if this bill becomes law, and the board would identify wholesalers and FDA-approved drugs for Ohioans.
“At the end of the day it will be affordable and there will be cost savings for the state,” Young said. “And cost savings for Ohioans, which is really the most important thing.”
All the representatives said they hope to start this conversation in November when the general assembly goes back into session, and they agree it is a bill they should take their time on to make sure it is done correctly.