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Sen. Hansen proposes ‘impact fee’ on drug makers to cover addiction costs

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Sen. Stephanie Hansen

Sen. Stephanie Hansen, D-Middletown introduced a bill Tuesday that would levy an “impact fee” on drug makers to help cover the cost of opioid addiction in Delaware.

The levy would establish a two-tier fee paid only by those opioid manufacturers whose products are of the highest strength and/or most widely dispensed in our state, based on data already collected by Delaware’s Prescription Monitoring Program.

Every three months, those manufacturers would be billed one penny per every morphine milligram equivalent of their brand-name opioid dispensed in the state and one-quarter of a cent for every MME of their generic opioid sold here.

“For too long, these companies have reaped record profits while avoiding responsibility for the pain and suffering their products have caused,” said Sen. Hansen, D-Middletown, the bill’s prime sponsor “With this bill, we will begin holding these companies accountable by forcing them to direct some of that revenue toward breaking the cycle of abuse, addiction and death.”

The advocacy group AtTAcK Addition has been pushing for the measure since 2015.

“For far too long the opioid manufacturers have profited, while our citizens incurred the burden and cost of this public health crisis that has been the cause of so many unnecessary deaths,” said board member David Humes.

A total of 17 Democrats and three Republicans have co-sponsored the bill.

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