CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) this week introduced bipartisan legislation that would increase the amount of time a physician can hold long-acting injectable (LAI) buprenorphine – a form of medication for opioid use disorders – from a specialty pharmacy.
The current 14-day window is a barrier to health care providers utilizing LAI buprenorphine due to the logistical hurdles associated with specialty pharmacy delivery. This legislation would reform the law that was envisioned in the SUPPORT Act by allowing health care providers to hold the drug in their facility for up to 60 days. It would help facilitate continuity of care and treatment for Americans with opioid use disorders by reducing an unnecessary barrier to this innovative treatment method.
“The most recent overdose death data from the CDC is yet another sign that we need to redouble our efforts to fight the addiction crisis,” Senator Capito said. “Along with preventing substance abuse before it starts and stopping the flow of drugs into our communities, treatment is a critical component of this fight. The bipartisan bill Senator Shaheen and I are authoring would support those struggling with the disease of addiction by increasing access to Mediation Assisted Treatment, and better equip medical providers in helping them on their road to recovery.”
“The substance use disorder epidemic was a crisis in our communities before COVID-19 hit, but after two years of battling the pandemic, we’ve experienced one public health emergency exacerbate another with over 100,000 overdose deaths in a 12-month period. Now more than ever, we must ensure that no stone is left unturned in our response efforts to assist those in recovery, which is precisely what our bipartisan, bicameral legislation would help us achieve,” Senator Shaheen said. “Medication-assisted treatment is part of our multi-faceted strategy to combat the substance use disorder crisis, and our legislation makes a commonsense reform to improve access so providers can deliver the treatment those struggling with addiction urgently need.”
This bill is supported by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, American Psychiatric Association, American Medical Association, Advocates for Opioid Recovery, Aimed Alliance, Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, Center for U.S. Policy, FORCE, Kennedy Forum, Maryland Heroin Awareness, Mother’s Addiction Journey, No More OD’s Inc., Partnership to End Addiction, Prevention Action Alliance, Shatterproof, The Voices Project, Tyler’s Light and Young People in Recovery.
The full text of the bill can be viewed here.
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