The New York State Senate took opioid manufacturers to task Friday, approving a measure requiring all companies who manufacture or sell opioids in the state to split a $100 million annually to help pay for treatment costs.
The surcharge, included in the state's $168.5 billion budget, will help cover the costs of the state-funded drug and alcohol and treatment programs.
Expected to be approved by the Assembly late Friday, the surcharge is part of a series of opioid-abuse measures in the budget, including one that makes it more difficult for physicians to prescribe opioids to patients for longer necessary.
Once the measure receives final approval, the "opioid" funds will be deposited into a "stewardship fund," which will be used to for the abuse programs, as well as help fund a prescription-monitoring initiative.
The plan originally emerged from Gov. Andrew Cuomo office who proposed a 2-cents-per-milligram tax on all opioids in New York as part of his $162 billion budget proposal, but Senate Republicans fought back against a tax, so the fund was set up in its place.
Pharmaceutical companies have argued that the "fund" would result in higher prices.
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