Magazine February 22, 2021, Issue

Don’t Tax Prescription Opioids

A DEA agent prepares packets of fentanyl for testing in October 2018. (Don Emmert/AFP via Getty Images)
It thwarts treatment for pain and makes the black market deadlier

In 1819, U.S. Supreme Court chief justice John Marshall aptly warned that “the power to tax involves the power to destroy.” Today, new state taxes on prescription opioids threaten to destroy the market for them, along with the lives of patients who depend on them for control of crippling pain. And these taxes may ultimately increase drug-overdose deaths.

Over the past three years, New York, Delaware, Minnesota, and Rhode Island have imposed taxes and fees on opioid manufacturers and pharmaceutical distributors that deliver opioids to pharmacies and hospitals in their respective states. Other states are expected to follow suit. Senator Dick

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In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


The Week

The Week

A San Francisco school board has voted to rename 44 schools the names of which are associated with ‘dishonorable legacies.’


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