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

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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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