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Prescription Drug Price Cap Makes Ballot as IM 26

The prescription drug price cap goes to the November ballot as Initiated Measure 26. Yesterday Secretary of State Shantel Krebs reported that she estimates the initiative petition filed last November by Clara Hart has enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Secretary Krebs counted 22,091 eligible signature lines on the petition, 1.73% shy of the 22,481 the petition sponsor reported. 22,091 signatures require the Secretary to check a random sample of 710 signatures for validity. 510 out of those 710 were valid, which extrapolates to a calculated 15,868 valid signatures on the entire petition, 1,997 more than necessary to qualify.

The prescription drug price cap petition was one of three backed by Rick Weiland’s The other two petitions, for independent redistricting and voting by mail, both failed to qualify for the ballot. The error rate on the drug price cap petition was 28.17%, between the 25.63% on redistricting and 30.30% on voting by mail. The drug price cap petition brings the average error rate for all seven reviewed initiative petitions this cycle to 25.73%. Only two petitions, G. Mark Mickelson’s out-of-state money ban (IM 24) and his tobacco tax for vo-techs (IM 25), have posted error rates below 20%.

The prescription drug cap brings to seven the number of measures we have the pleasure of voting on this year. We get Amendment Y, Marsy’s Fix, early, on our primary ballot. In November we get IM 24, IM 25, and now IM 26, plus Amendments W (IM 22 2.0), X (Bolin’s 55% vote for amendments), and Z (Mickelson’s silly single-subject amendment rule).

IM 26 is already promoting economic growth: Big Pharma has already issued its first prepared press release blasting the price cap. They’ve even cleverly named their ballot question committee “South Dakotans Against the Deceptive Rx Ballot Issue,” so that even their disclaimer serves as part of their marketing. Take note, ballot question committees: choose your names strategically! Now that we have Senate Bill 128, I think I’ll form an ongoing, multi-issue ballot question committee called “Red-Blooded, God-Fearing South Dakotans Who Know the Other Guys Are Lying Pinko Heathens!” As Big Pharma shows, the name doesn’t have to be true; it just has to be good marketing.


  1. Jason 2018-04-12 23:58


    There is a reason you don’t have any comments on this thread.

    Do you know why?

  2. jerry 2018-04-13 05:49

    Thanks Jason, did not see this post until you made attention to it. Supporters of IM 26, can cross advertise this as a bi-partisan idea that comes directly from the White House and leadership to reduce the costs American’s are paying for prescription drugs. This is what Joe Bidden would call “A big________ing deal” Check it out: First two paragraphs

    ” Executive Summary
    February 2018

    The affordability of healthcare and biopharmaceutical drugs is a top concern for Americans. It
    is often asserted that promoting innovation and affordable drugs are conflicting goals. New
    innovations, however, often provide improved health that was not previously available at any
    price or obviate the need for more costly care. They thereby lower the effective price of health
    down to the price of the patented drugs, and later down to the price of generic drugs. Federal
    policies that affect drug pricing should satisfy two goals. First, domestic drug prices paid by
    Americans should be reduced. Second, the price of better health in the future should also be
    reduced by spurring medical innovation. This report considers policy options to
    simultaneously advance these two seemingly conflicting goals.
    Reducing drug prices that Americans pay means recognizing that many artificially high prices
    result from government policies that prevent, rather than foster, healthy price competition.
    Drug prices, for example, are sometimes artificially high due to government regulations that
    raise prices. This report discusses changes to the Medicare and Medicaid programs that could
    help lower domestic prices, as well as reforms to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that
    could encourage more robust price competition.” Here is the White Paper

    Also from the article “To derive profit margins for the rest of the world, we use 2009 patented, retail sales and
    quantity data from Danzon and Furukawa (2011). Patented, retail drug sales for nine other
    major markets (the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Brazil and
    Mexico) were an estimated $86 billion, compared to $120 billion in the United States.
    Multiplying the U.S. profit margin of 84 percent by U.S. patented retail sales results in an
    estimated $101 billion in profit in 2009.”

    And, as a bonus, graphs!! A good read that shows Clara Hart and company are on the right page!

  3. Jason 2018-04-13 07:06


    You finally linked to someone that is intelligent. The reason the drug prices are high is because of Government.

  4. jerry 2018-04-13 08:46

    Clara Hart is intelligent, that is for sure and that is why this bill is a winner. The reason my drugs are so inexpensive is because government negotiates the prices for the VA and then allows veterans to purchase them with low co pays. As for me, I do not pay for my drugs, all part of the deal for getting shot a couple of times. Regular citizens should not have had to bleed for the country to get prescription drugs at a reasonable price. We all should have this and what the link shows is exactly how to do it, pattern ourselves like Europe and Asia.

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