Legal challenge could scuttle prescription drug initiative

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A legal challenge could scuttle a ballot measure that would cap how much state agencies could pay for prescription drugs even if backers gather enough support to put it on the 2018 ballot.

Industry groups have appealed to the South Dakota Supreme Court after a judge rejected their challenge to the attorney general's explanation. Initiative supporter Rick Weiland says it's a move to derail a measure that would save taxpayer dollars.

An Attorney General's office spokeswoman says that if the explanation is found to be inadequate, petition sheets carrying the explanation likely wouldn't be valid. The appeal is likely to stretch past the November signature submission deadline.

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America is one group appealing. Spokeswoman Priscilla VanderVeer says the group wants voters to be educated about what the measure says and does.

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