Connecticut Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal are co-sponsors of new legislation to help combat opioid addiction. The Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment Act -- known as the LifeBOAT Act -- would establish a funding stream. Murphy called it an innovative piece of legislation.
"What this bill does is to assess a very small fee on prescription pain medications when they are sold -- one cent per milligram," he said. "It’s a small fee. A one cent per milligram fee on prescription painkillers would net a billion dollars a year."
Murphy said he anticipates opposition from drug companies. But if it's approved, the money would be used to support opioid addiction treatment.
Murphy announced the bill at a roundtable discussion in West Haven where he heard from local law enforcement, first responders, treatment providers, and others about the impact of the opioid crisis.
Connecticut saw more than 900 overdose deaths in 2016.
WNPR's Opioid Addiction Crisis Reporting Initiative is supported by Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network's MATCH Program.