Amid costly epidemic, states look to tax opioids

Posted at 1:45 PM, Dec 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-06 15:45:19-05

Opioids are a big problem around the country, which has led to legislators looking for new ways to fund rehabilitation.

New York has enacted the Opioid Stewardship Act, a bill to tax opioids. It would collect $100 million a year for six years.

The opioid industry calls the law a "punitive surcharge" on distributors and manufacturers, and lawsuits they've filed call it unconstitutional.

Opponents also say the act will ultimately hurt consumers, because generic opioids have such low profit margins, so critics fear they will be forced out of the market.

California, Idaho and Tennessee have all tried and failed to pass similar laws. Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are waiting to see what happens in New York before they move forward with their own legislation.