MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Mark Dayton unveiled a sweeping plan Wednesday to fight Minnesota’s growing opioid abuse crisis — including a steep tax on drug manufacturers.
There were 395 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016, an 18-percent jump from the year before.
And opioid deaths in Minnesota rose 66 percent since 2000, according to a report released by the governor Wednesday.
That is why state officials are taking the unusual step of taxing opioid manufacturers for every pill they sell in Minnesota.
“You can call it whatever you want,” Dayton said. “It means that they’re going to pay for the product they’re producing, which is causing this epidemic.”
The opioid intervention plan charges opioid manufacturers about a penny for every milligram prescribed and sold in Minnesota.
It would raise about $20 million a year, which would go to law enforcement, emergency responders, treatment and recovery.
This matter is personal for two state lawmakers: Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar, and Sen. Chris Eaton, D-Brooklyn Center.