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Delaware House approves proposed tax on opioids

May 16, 2019

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The state House has given final approval to a bill requiring drug manufacturers who sell opioid painkillers in Delaware to pay a new tax to help support substance abuse prevention and treatment.

The bill cleared the House on a 33-to-8 vote Thursday and now goes to Democratic Gov. John Carney.

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 the tax will raise about $8 million over three years. Critics say the cost will be passed on to insurers, pharmacies and ultimately patients, who will pay more for their medication.