California is looking to impose a surcharge on prescription opioids to fund treatment for addicts. The move in such a large state could have a ripple effect through the rest of the country dealing with spiking rates of overdoses.
The proposed measure introduced Wednesday by California Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, of Sacramento, would place a one-cent-per-milligram tax on prescription opioids. Prescription opioid wholesalers would be responsible for paying the tax, but it is likely those charges would fall onto the shoulders of insurers and consumers.
Will Zasadny, spokesman for the California Life Sciences Association, which lobbies on behalf of pharmaceutical firms in the states said the group was studying the bill and the new amendments, and would not "take a formal position at this time."