Bipartisan, Bicameral Group of Lawmakers Encourage Biden Administration to Eliminate Physician X-Waiver Requirements for Prescribing Buprenorphine

Last week, Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY-20), Antonio Delgado (D-NY-18), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16), and Michael Turner (R-OH-10) sent a letter to President Biden urging his Administration support the passage of the previously introduced Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act (MAT) Act, which would eliminate the training and X-waiver requirements for physicians who want to prescribe buprenorphine. In their letter, the lawmakers acknowledged the Administration’s commitment “to expand access to medication-assisted treatment” and emphasized that the best way to “move forward on [their] shared goal of eliminating the x-waiver and expanding treatment opportunities is by supporting passage of the MAT Act without delay.”

Articles & Resources

Senator Lisa Murkowski – Bipartisan, Bicameral Members of Congress Call for Increased Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment

Senator Maggie Hassan – Bipartisan, Bicameral Members of Congress Call for Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act to Increase Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment

The Washington Post – Lawmakers urge Biden to back opioid-treatment measure

Letter to President Biden

Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act

Bipartisan Group of Senators Send Letter to NIDA Encouraging R&D of Medication Treatment Options

Earlier this month, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) sent a letter to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) encouraging the institute to make investments toward the research and development of treatments to address methamphetamine use disorder. In the letter, the senators outlined a series of questions for NIDA officials on current research funding, clinical trial progress, diversity in clinical trials and current treatment approached. In their letter, the senators highlighted the recent successes of using medication to treat opioid addiction noting that “comparable treatment options are not available to those fighting the methamphetamine crisis. Further, concurrent use of methamphetamine and opioids, which can derail gains made in addressing the opioid crisis and add to the need and complexity of medication treatment, is on the rise.”

Articles & Resources

Senator Dianne Feinstein – Feinstein, Brown, Capito, Colleagues Support Enhanced Research and Development of Methamphetamine Treatment Options Colleagues

New England Journal of Medicine – Bupropion and Naltrexone in Methamphetamine Use Disorder

Letter to NIDA

What We Read Last Week

Several articles were published last week pertaining to the opioid epidemic, covering a variety of different components of the issue. Links to relevant articles are provided below.

Articles & Resources

American Hospital Association – The Impact of COVID-19 and the Winter Season on Substance Use Disorders

American Red Cross – First Aid for Opioid Overdoses Online Course

Appriss Health – Annual Impact Report

Association of Academic Physiatrists – Patients on Chronic Opioids Likely to Live in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods, Have Worse Anxiety and Depression

Bloomberg Government – Biden Fumbles Early on Opioid Addiction

Bloomberg Government – The Controlled Substances Act (CSA): A Legal Overview for the 117th Congress

BMJ – No links between opioids or certain antibiotics in pregnancy and major birth defects

Brookings – America’s crisis of despair: A federal task force for economic recovery and societal well-being

DEA – Over $1.1M in Civil Settlements Reaffirm DOJ’s Commitment to Preventing Opioid Abuse

Illinois News Bureau – Lipid epoxides target pain, inflammatory pathways in neurons

JAMA – Accelerated Overdose Deaths Linked With COVID-19

JAMA Surgery – Patient-Reported Outcomes After Opioid-Sparing Surgery Compared With Standard of Care

LexBlog – Analysis of the DOJ’s 2020 FCA Statistics and the Trends Therein

Ohio Valley ReSource – Addiction In The Pandemic: An Interview With White House Leader On Drug Control Policy

Ohio Valley ReSource – Addiction In The Pandemic: The $350M Effort To Heal Communities In Opioid Crisis

RAND – Opioid Litigation: What’s New, and What Does It Mean for Future Litigation?

STAT – America’s addiction crisis, compounded by Covid-19, requires immediate action to save lives

The Washington Post – Drug companies seek billion-dollar tax deductions from opioid settlement

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut – Gang Member Sentenced to 46 Months in Federal Prison for Distributing Fentanyl

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia – Dark Web Trafficker Pleads Guilty to Distributing Opioids

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia – Owner of Savannah-area clinic charged for role in providing access to notorious ‘pill mill’ doctor

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia – Six Waycross-area defendants indicted for conspiracy to traffic drugs, including Fentanyl and heroin

U.S. Department of Justice – Doctor Sentenced for Role in Unlawful Distribution of Opioids

University of Michigan – Pain Patients Who Take Opioids Can’t Get in the Door at Half of Primary Care Clinics

Vox – Joe Biden’s big FDA decision

World Economic Forum – Digital rehab is helping tackle America’s opioid crisis. Here’s how

This Week’s Calendar

In the week ahead, there are no relevant events or hearings noticed at this time. In the event that there are any changes to the schedule for this week, we will make additional information available.

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