Local lawmakers unite on tax for companies that make, sell opioids

Posted: Updated:
WHITE PLAINS -

State lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are united on the new tax for companies that make and sell opioids.

The tax passed early Saturday as part of the new state budget

"This will be something that makes sure we're holding the manufacturers accountable," said state Sen. David Carlucci.

Republican state Sen. Terrence Murphy agrees, and says that the new tax will help fight the skyrocketing number of opioid addictions and deaths in the Hudson Valley.

The tax is expected to raise $100 million annually for state-funded addiction problems.  

The opioid tax has plenty of critics, including some in the Hudson Valley.

"That's going to raise the price for the people who need it," says David Bernerd, of Yonkers.

Opponents cite a study showing the opioid tax will lead to higher insurance and medical costs for all New Yorkers. The study, conducted by the pharmaceutical industry itself, says to some that it's nothing other than smoke and mirrors from drug companies already making billions on pain pills.  

The new tax is part of a large-scale opioid-abuse package that also will make it more difficult for doctors to prescribe the drugs in the first place.

A spokesperson for Gov. Cuomo says the new state budget includes provisions that prevent the opioid tax from being passed down to consumers.
 

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