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Can taxing pain pills alleviate the opioid epidemic?

Posted by   /  March 19, 2018  /  No Comments

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Several states are exploring their own new policy: tax drug companies for the opioids they produce

By Mattie Quinn | Governing

The opioid epidemic, which killed 64,000 Americans in 2016, is making governments resort to unprecedented policies for saving lives and preventing addiction in the first place.

Citing rising opioid fatalities, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton in February announced a renewed legislative proposal to tax prescription opioid pills to help fund treatment./Eric Miller:REUTERS

First it was the expanded access of naloxone, the overdose-reversing drug now available in many schools and pharmacies and often carried by first responders. On Monday, President Trump is set to announce new policies to fight the opioid crisis, including the death penalty for some drug dealers. Meanwhile, several states are exploring their own new policy: tax drug manufacturers for the opioids they produce.

“350 million opioid pain pills came into Kentucky last year. Drug companies get billions, our state gets nothing, and communities are devastated,” says Kentucky state Rep. James Kay, who sponsored an opioid tax bill.

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