How long should annual fee increases on drug manufacturers stay in place — that’s a major issue as Minnesota House and Senate negotiators try to hammer out a compromise on legislation to combat Minnesota’s opioid epidemic.

Under the House bill, the annual fees continue unless the legislature decides otherwise in 2023, based on a report on whether opiate prescriptions have dropped. The Senate bill says, if the state gets 20 million dollars or more from a national lawsuit against the pharmaceutical industry, then the annual fees drop automatically unless the legislature intervenes:

“I do believe that a sunset is mandatory,” says Vernon Center Republican Julie Rosen.

Governor Tim Walz says about fees on drug manufacturers and distributors, “I think it should be based on the outcomes of what happens with the addictions, the overdoses, and what we’re seeing with the problems of it.”