A federal judge struck down Wednesday a New York law that aimed to collect $600 million from the pharmaceutical industry to help combat the opioid crisis, a ruling that could shape opioid legislation being weighed in other states.
U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla in Manhattan called the novel law an unconstitutional regulatory penalty on the makers and distributors of opioid painkillers, even as she acknowledged the validity of trying to legislate a solution to the epidemic gripping the nation.
The ruling comes days before a deadline set by New York’s health department to pay the first installment of the levy. Under the Opioid Stewardship Act, $100 million was set to be collectively paid each year for six years by companies that sold or distributed opioids in the state. The first round of bills, retroactive to 2017, were sent to 75 companies and their subsidiaries in November.
This country has a real opioid problem, but this “tax” like nothing more than an attempting mugging by Albany.