Controversial ‘Opioid Tax’ May Cause Pain for NY Patients

Opioids are a class of medication that can profoundly affect a patient’s quality of life, either for better or for worse. Those who are plagued by chronic, unmanageable pain are sometimes afforded a new lease on life when painkillers are working properly, but the drugs’ potential for addiction and dependence have created a veritable crisis across the nation.

Previous legislation would have seen opioid manufacturers taxed, and that money used to fund addiction programs; ideally, this would mitigate the epidemic of misuse that is ravaging lives and families across New York. A federal court ruled that said legislation was in violation of commerce laws, and now prescription-drug users are expected to bear the brunt of a $100 million opioid tax.

Instead of pharmaceutical companies worth billions of dollars, it’s looking like the responsibility will fall on consumers to fund these social programs. Albany County has clashed previously with opioid manufacturers over “suspicious orders.” More than 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, and the numbers continue to climb.