Oregon Ballot Measure 44, Prescription Drug Purchasing Program (2006)

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Oregon Ballot Measure 44 was on the November 7, 2006 ballot in Oregon as an initiated state statute. It was approved.

Ballot Measure 44 expanded the pool of Oregonians allowed to participate in the state's drug purchasing program. It allowed Oregonians to take advantage of the state's bulk purchasing program, and its ability to negotiate for lower prices.

Election results

Measure 44
Approveda Yes 1,049,594 78%

Text of measure

Ballot title

The official ballot title of Measure 44 was:

Allows Any Oregon Resident Without Prescription Drug Coverage to Participate in Oregon Prescription Drug Program[2][3]


The official ballot summary was:

Existing law authorizes the Oregon Prescription Drug Program, which is intended to reduce prescription drug costs and to make prescription drugs available to participants at the lowest possible cost. Existing law authorizes the program's administrator, among other things, to negotiate price discounts, to purchase prescription drugs on behalf of participants, and to reimburse pharmacies. Under current law, Oregon residents over age 54 whose gross annual income does not exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty guidelines and who have not had private prescription drug benefit coverage for the past 6 months are eligible to participate in the Program. Measure eliminates those restrictions and expands Program eligibility to all Oregon residents who have no prescription drug coverage except Medicare Part D. Provides no funding. Other provisions.[4][3]

Financial impact

The official estimated financial impact statement was:

There is no direct financial effect on state or local government expenditures or revenue.[4][3]

Full text

The full text of the legislation enacted by Measure 44 was:

An Act

Relating to prescription drugs; amending ORS 414.312.

Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

SECTION 1. ORS 414.312 is amended to read:

414.312. (1) As used in ORS 414.312 to 414.318:

(a) "Pharmacy benefit manager" means an entity that, in addition to being a prescription drug claims processor, negotiates and executes contracts with pharmacies, manages preferred drug lists, negotiates rebates with prescription drug manufacturers and serves as an intermediary between the Oregon Prescription Drug Program, prescription drug manufacturers and pharmacies.

(b) "Prescription drug claims processor" means an entity that processes and pays prescription drug claims, adjudicates pharmacy claims, transmits prescription drug prices and claims data between pharmacies and the Oregon Prescription Drug Program and processes related payments to pharmacies.

(c) "Program price" means the reimbursement rates and prescription drug prices established by the administrator of the Oregon Prescription Drug Program.

(2) The Oregon Prescription Drug Program is established in the Oregon Department of Administrative Services. The purpose of the program is to:

(a) Purchase prescription drugs or reimburse pharmacies for prescription drugs in order to receive discounted prices and rebates;

(b) Make prescription drugs available at the lowest possible cost to participants in the program; and

(c) Maintain a list of prescription drugs recommended as the most effective prescription drugs available at the best possible prices.

(3) The Director of the Oregon Department of Administrative Services shall appoint an administrator of the Oregon Prescription Drug Program. The administrator shall:

(a) Negotiate price discounts and rebates on prescription drugs with prescription drug manufacturers;

(b) Purchase prescription drugs on behalf of individuals and entities that participate in the program;

(c) Contract with a prescription drug claims processor to adjudicate pharmacy claims and transmit program prices to pharmacies;

(d) Determine program prices and reimburse pharmacies for prescription drugs;

(e) Adopt and implement a preferred drug list for the program;

(f) Develop a system for allocating and distributing the operational costs of the program and any rebates obtained to participants of the program; and

(g) Cooperate with other states or regional consortia in the bulk purchase of prescription drugs.

(4) The following individuals or entities may participate in the program:

(a) Public Employees' Benefit Board;

(b) Local governments as defined in ORS 174.116 and special government bodies as defined in ORS 174.117 that directly or indirectly purchase prescription drugs;

(c) Enrollees in the Senior Prescription Drug Assistance Program created under ORS 414.342;

(d) Oregon Health and Science University established under ORS 353.020;

(e) State agencies that directly or indirectly purchase prescription drugs, including agencies that dispense prescription drugs directly to persons in state-operated facilities; and

(f) Residents of this state who[:]

[(A) Are more than 54 years of age;]

[(B) Have a gross annual income that does not exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty guidelines; and]

[(C) Have not been covered under any private prescription drug benefit program for the previous six months] do not have prescription drug coverage.

(5) The state agency that receives federal Medicaid funds and is responsible for implementing the state's medical assistance program may not participate in the program.

(6) The administrator may establish different reimbursement rates or prescription drug prices for pharmacies in rural areas to maintain statewide access to the program.

(7) The administrator shall establish the terms and conditions for a pharmacy to enroll in the program. A licensed pharmacy that is willing to accept the terms and conditions established by the administrator may apply to enroll in the program.

(8) Except as provided in subsection (9) of this section, the administrator may not:

(a) Contract with a pharmacy benefit manager;

(b) Establish a state-managed wholesale or retail drug distribution or dispensing system; or

(c) Require pharmacies to maintain or allocate separate inventories for prescription drugs dispensed through the program.

(9) The administrator shall contract with one or more entities to provide the functions of a prescription drug claims processor. The administrator may also contract with a pharmacy benefit manager to negotiate with prescription drug manufacturers on behalf of the administrator.

(10) Notwithstanding subsection (4)(f) of this section, individuals who are eligible for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage may participate in the program.[5][3]

Note: Boldfaced type indicates new language; [brackets and italic] type indicates deletions or comments.


The Democratic Party of Oregon and the Pacific Green Party of Oregon openly endorsed Measure 44.[6]

Press Reactions

Press reactions to the measure were positive, including an endorsement from the Willamette Week paper, which claimed that "too few" people were enrolled in the program as it was prior to Measure 44.[7]


Donors to the campaign for the measure:[8]

  • School Employees Exercising Democracy: $352,398
  • Nurses United PAC: $314,430
  • Yes On Measure 44 Prescription for a Healthy Oregon: $198,705
  • Oregon Public Employees Union PAC: $76,962
  • Parents Education Association PAC: $34,154
  • Total: $976,649


There was no organized opposition.[9]

See also

External links

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