Kentucky Lawmakers Propose Tax on Opioids

The growing opioid crisis in Kentucky has lawmakers looking for solutions. One proposal, a 25 cent tax on each opioid sold in Kentucky, is stirring debate among healthcare professionals, advocates, and lawmakers. The measure hits pharmaceutical wholesalers, described as the UPS or FedEx of the healthcare supply chain, with the 25 cents a dose tax. State Representative Kim Moser, a member of the Northern Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy Board, agrees lawmakers have an important role in finding solutions to Kentucky’s opioid addiction crisis but finds this solution, while noble in intent, misplaces blame. Moser says the tax would increase healthcare costs and do more harm than good. She says combating the opioid crisis will involve “pulling up the roots” of the problem through greater education, developing alternative treatments, and tackling over prescribing.

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