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United Way Boards Supports Prescription Drugs

Ohio is one of only a handful of states that do not have any form of prescription drug assistance. That means that over 2 million low-income and elderly persons struggle to purchase needed medications.

On June 7, 2001 two identical bills (HB 290 and SB 127) were introduced in the Ohio House and Senate to create prescription drug program (Rx Program) within the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). Any resident of the State, not just Medicaid recipients, who applies through ODJFS will be issued an enrollment card which entitles him/her to a discount on prescription drugs through a participating terminal distributor (pharmacy, hospital, nursing home or other place where prescription drugs are sold or distributed).

Each manufacturer and wholesaler who sells prescription drugs through a state health plan may enter into a rebate agreement with the ODJFS, under which the manufacturer or wholesaler is to make rebate payments to the Department. Each distributor is required to discount the amount it charges a participant for a prescription drug covered by the program. The amount of the discount must equal the rebate a manufacturer or distributor pays ODJFS. The distributor must also disclose to the participant the amount of savings gained on the cost of the prescription.

So far neither the House or Senate Committees have moved on these two bills. You are encouraged to contact the committee chairs and urge them to begin hearings on the bills in their respective chambers.

In the House: Health and Family Services Committee
Mr. Gregg Jolivette, Chair
77 South High Street
13th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6111
Telephone: (614) 644-6721
Fax: (614) 644-9494

In the Senate: Health, Human Services and Aging
Mr. Lynn Wachtmann
Senate Building
Room #040, Ground Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215

To obtain copies of the bills, go to either the House or Senate website and select Legislation. Enter the bill number and select House or Senate, and 124th General Assembly.