Tell your legislators: Pass the Opioid Profits Tax Now

Governor Murphy, New Jersey Senators' and Assembly Members

While we in New Jersey pitch in to do all we possibly can to flatten the curve and respond to the crisis of COVID-19, we also need to ensure that people who are struggling with addiction, people in recovery, and their families are protected too. Because of this crisis many addiction services and treatment facilities have shut down, putting access to lifesaving naloxone (Narcan) and support services out of reach. By passing the Opioid Profits Tax in Governor Murphy’s proposed NJ FY 21 budget, we know we can increase revenues this year to continue to address the overdose crisis and expand access to lifesaving care to people who are struggling with substance use and people in recovery. Big pharma helped create the crisis, and profited billions, and can do their part by paying a small tax on opioids. Help us ensure that all of us who are struggling with substance use, in recovery, or love someone who is are not forgotten in the COVID-19 response by signing our petition.

All of us are healthier when all of us are healthy - that includes people like us who are struggling with substance use, in recovery, or love somebody who is.

To: Governor Murphy, New Jersey Senators' and Assembly Members
From: [Your Name]

Our home, New Jersey, has the second highest rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths in the country. As of Wednesday April 8th, we had 47,437 cases and 1,504 deaths. Before COVID-19 we were already facing one of the most devastating public health crises of this generation - the overdose crisis. We’ve lost over 200,000 of our loved ones in the US in the last 2 decades to the overdose crisis. And we know just in January and February of this year, we lost over 536 New Jerseyans to a preventable overdose.

COVID-19 is a crisis on top of crisis. Our state, united, is fighting hard to make sure our healthcare workers have the supplies and protection they need and that sick New Jerseyans have a hospital bed and critical equipment like a ventilator. While many New Jerseyans are fighting for their lives and losing loved ones, we are also beginning to see the economic impacts of COVID-19. And, it is clear as access to lifesaving treatments and interventions become limited, overdose deaths will increase rapidly.

Just as we are all pitching in, prescription drug corporations that sell opioids must do the same and pay their fair share to address the harm they helped create by fueling the opioid epidemic. Since 2017, drug corporations have reaped billions in tax breaks thanks to the new tax law. In 2018, Johnson & Johnson got a $856 million tax break and Pfizer got a $445 million tax break. They can afford to pay their share of taxes to address the addiction crisis that helped make pharmaceuticals the most profitable industry in the United States.

Now more than ever we need to stick together to make sure our communities get the resources we need to survive both the overdose crisis and COVID-19. That’s why we’re asking you to support the Opioid Profits tax in Governor Murphy’s proposed FY21 budget and to dedicate those funds to addressing the overdose crisis and expanding access to services and treatments that save lives and help people thrive.