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Emails Show Big Pharma Pushed Ohio Lawmakers To Lower Cost Estimates Of Opioid Bill

Emails obtained by the Associated Press 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 bill in the Republican-controlled Ohio House 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 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 dollars to 2.8 million dollars.  The bill died in December, but 10 other states are looking at the issue this year.

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