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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 4, 2019 09:22 AM
From: Representative Gene DiGirolamo
To: All House members
Subject: Impact Fee on Opiate Sales

I am so tired of hearing from parents with dead kids, about young people dead from drug overdoses. But the calls keep coming.

5,456 Pennsylvanians died of drug overdoses in 2017 with the numbers expected to go up. That means across this Holiday Season, 5,456 of our families are grieving loved ones lost to this entirely preventable and entirely treatable problem.

By midnight tonight, another 15 citizens of our state will have died from a drug overdose. This means another 15 families will begin the grieving.

This is simply unacceptable to me.

Over the last few years, we have done good work. We enacted critically important laws to address the problem. PA’s Prescription Drug Monitoring law is gradually reducing access to unneeded prescription opiates while other legislation is impacting prescribing practices and referral to treatment. In addition, we enacted a law making Narcan available in all of our communities while providing training and liability protections for first responders. We’ve done good work but there is much more to be done.
Prescription opiates continue to drive both the overdose death rate and now, the growing heroin and fentanyl problem in the state.

It’s time. It’s time for the manufacturers and marketers of prescription opioids to step up, own up, clean up and address the damage they have brought to our communities and to our families.

I intend to introduce legislation that will impose a 10% impact fee on the sales of opioids in the state of Pennsylvania.

The impact fee will go to counties for Narcan and to support the work of local police, EMS, coroners, for drug and alcohol counseling in county jails, to clean up other local criminal justice costs and to support and maintain the Prescription Drug Monitoring program. In addition, the impact fee will establish the Emergency Addiction Treatment Program making funding for addiction treatment available to each of our counties.