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California and New York Propose Prescription Opioid Tax

Recovery advocates in New York and various lawmakers in California are proposing a tax be added to prescription opiates such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet to help fund treatment (De la Cretaz, 2017). 


Assemblyman Kevin McCarty of California “introduced a bill that would tax the drugs not at the point of sale, but on wholesalers who import the medication into the state,” and Friends of Recovery-New York (FOR-NY) are garnering support for a similar measure from senators and assemblymen and -women (De la Cretaz, 2017). 


“This plan will provide counties with critical resources needed to curb the deadly cycle of opioid and heroin addiction in California,” stated McCarty (De la Cretaz, 2017). The AB 1512 bill in California requires a two-thirds vote in the state’s legislature to pass and will require “a one-cent-per-milligram tax on the active ingredients in the drugs” (De la Cretaz, 2017). 


While it is still unclear how much the prices of opioids will increase because of the tax, Assemblyman McCarty’s office believes “tens of millions” will be raised for treatment if the bill is implemented. 




De la Cretaz, B. (2017). Prescription opioid tax proposed by lawmakers in California, advocates in NY. Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/prescription-opioid-tax-proposed-lawmakers-california-advocates-ny