To replace a tax or fee on opioids, discussed here that has been ruled unconstitutional, Governor Cuomo’s New York budget proposes a straightforward opioid tax based on morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs):
The tax is would be a quarter of a cent ($.0025) per MME if wholesale the cost per MME is less than fifty cents ($.50).
The tax is would be a cent and a half ($.015) per MME if wholesale the cost per MME is greater than or equal to fifty cents.
So weak opioids would taxed less than strong ones. Can’t the user just take a lot of weak opioids and get the effect of one strong dose? Are opioid products so different that they merit discontinuous tax burdens? And why have a flat tax amount once a threshold is reached?
There’s another problem. The American Council on Science and Health arguesat length that “Opioid Policies Based On Morphine Milligram Equivalents Are Automatically Flawed.” I can’t say that’s wrong – or right.