South Dakota initiative backer sees path despite Ohio defeat

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A key supporter of a proposed prescription drug ballot measure says a South Dakota campaign could be successful despite a similar initiative's overwhelming failure in Ohio after the pharmaceutical industry spent big to stop it.

South Dakota backer Rick Weiland said Wednesday that the Ohio initiative's fate shows "Big Pharma" will do whatever it takes to defeat such a plan.

The industry spent an estimated $70 million to oppose the Ohio measure in Tuesday's election.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America says Ohio voters rejected the "flawed proposal" because of the devastating consequences it could have had on state residents.

The South Dakota initiative would prohibit state agencies from paying more than the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for prescription drugs.

Backers have submitted signatures to get on the 2018 ballot.

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