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The Minnesota House of Representatives passed legislation Monday to greatly increase the fees that opioid drug manufacturers or wholesalers who distribute those drugs in the state are required to pay.
H.B. 400, which passed in a 94-34 vote mostly along party lines, authorizes the creation of an Opioid Addiction Advisory Council, as well as an opioid stewardship fund. The council will provide addiction prevention, education, intervention and treatment, as well as training on the treatment of opioid addiction for all U.S. Federal Drug Administration-approved medications, detoxification, relapse prevention and recovery supports, and establish priorities and actions to address the state's opioid epidemic for the purpose of allocating funds, according to the bill.
The legislation will assess Schedule II-IV manufacturers an aggregate amount of $12 million in registration fees based on each company’s percentage of total number of opioid units manufactured in the state. An aggregate amount of $8 million annually will be assessed to opioid wholesalers in registration fees under the bill. The fees will be due by June 1 of each year, beginning in 2020.
The $20 million collected annually will go into the state’s opioid stewardship fund, which will provide provisions for the council’s programs, including a $2.4 million opioid prevention pilot project. The bill also stipulates that any money received in a settlement or court order from opioid manufacturers or wholesalers related to violations of consumer fraud laws or other illegal actions must be deposited in the state’s opioid stewardship fund.
The legislation also includes further restrictions on opioid prescriptions, capping opioids at a seven-day limit for acute pain associated with major trauma or a surgical procedure.
A bipartisan companion bill, S.F. 751, has been referred to the Minnesota Senate’s Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee.
In an effort it calls “second-chance” employment, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation announced on Monday a pilot program aimed to keep and hire those in opioid addiction treatment.