FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 3, 2018
Contact: Press@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) applauded final Senate passage of H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, legislation to combat the opioid crisis that contains provisions Dr. Paul has championed to allow more Americans struggling with addiction to find treatment.
“The opioid epidemic has devastated individuals and families throughout Kentucky and all across America, which is why I’ve led the fight to expand access to treatment by removing artificial roadblocks so more people are able to get the help they need. I applaud Congress for building on the progress we have made in the last few years by permanently extending the increased patient cap for Suboxone and ensuring more health care providers can administer treatment, and I look forward to the President signing this important bipartisan legislation into law,” said Dr. Paul.
A physician by trade for over 20 years, Dr. Paul has been a leading advocate for increasing treatment opportunities for patients struggling with drug addiction by eliminating Washington’s overreaching and misguided restrictions on patients’ access to treatment.
The inclusion and passage of these provisions are a result of Dr. Paul’s steadfast commitment to this issue, and reflect the language of his 2015 TREAT Act as well as his subsequent efforts to make permanent a 2016 change in federal regulations that raised the cap on the number of patients a physician can treat with buprenorphine (a key component in Suboxone) from 100 to 275.
The final language of H.R. 6 includes the provisions from the Addiction Treatment Access Improvement Act (S.2317), which Dr. Paul introduced with Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in January 2018. Those provisions do the following:
· Codifies the 275-patient cap for physicians, and sets the initial first year patient limit at 100 patients
· Makes permanent the 5-year allowance included in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) of 2016 for Physicians Assistants and Nurse Practitioners to prescribe addiction treatment drugs
· Expands this authority for 5 years to three other advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) specialties: certified nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, and certified-registered nurse anesthetists.