As states consider taxing opioids, drugmakers push back

Dave Humes
The Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Lawmakers across the country are testing a strategy to boost treatment for opioid addicts as their states confront a rising death toll from drug overdoses.

They want to force drug manufacturers and their distributors to pay for it.

Bills introduced in at least 15 states would impose taxes or fees on prescription painkillers. Several of the measures have bipartisan support and would funnel millions of dollars toward treatment and prevention programs.

Just one — in New York — has been signed into law so far as the drug industry pushes back against the legislative tax efforts.

Drugmakers and distributors say the cost increases would eventually be absorbed by patients or taxpayers, and that there are other ways to pay for addiction treatment.