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Delaware Senate approves proposed tax on opioids

April 9, 2019

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The state Senate has approved legislation imposing a new tax on drug manufacturers who sell opioid painkillers in Delaware.

The bill cleared the Senate on a 17-4 vote Tuesday and now goes to the House.

The legislation imposes a per-pill tax on prescription opioids ranging from a few cents to a dollar or more, based on their strength and whether they are brand-name or generic.

The tax would be used to create a fund for drug treatment and substance abuse prevention programs.

Officials estimate that the tax would raise about $8 million over three years. Critics say the cost will be passed on by the manufacturers to insurers, pharmacies and ultimately patients, who will end up paying more for their medicine.