Records: Drugmakers tussle over Ohio opioid bill's price tag - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Records: Drugmakers tussle over Ohio opioid bill's price tag

(Source: AP Images) (Source: AP Images)

By JULIE CARR SMYTH
AP Statehouse Correspondent

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Public records show lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry pushed Ohio officials to lower their estimates of what it would cost the state if lawmakers approved a bill requiring Medicaid and other insurers to cover new higher-priced prescription painkillers.

Estimates were adjusted three times on the House bill that sought expanded patient access to the so-called "abuse deterrent" opioids the industry is pushing as a key solution to America's opioid crisis.

Emails The Associated Press obtained through a public records request show lobbyists sought to influence Ohio lawmakers and analysts during the months the annual cost estimates to expand Medicaid to cover the new drugs dropped from a high of $167 million to $2.8 million.

The bill died in December, but 10 other states are looking at the issue this year.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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