Baker’s Plan Would Tax Makers Of Opioid Medications
BOSTON (AP) _ Gov. Charlie Baker's call to tax manufacturers of opioid medications represents the latest high-profile attempt by state leaders to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable in some part for the ongoing opioid addiction crisis.
The Republican's proposed state budget includes a 15 percent excise tax on sales of prescription opioids in Massachusetts. The tax, if approved, would generate an estimated $14 million for addiction prevention and treatment programs.
Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey is pursuing a lawsuit that accuses top executives of Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, with deceiving doctors and patients about the risks associated with opioids.
State officials have reported thousands of opioid-related overdose deaths in recent years.
The epidemic has prompted more than a dozen other states to weigh taxes on drugmakers, but a court challenge sunk a law enacted last year in New York.