FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 24, 2018
Contact: Press@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee passed U.S. Senator Rand Paul's amendment to S. 2680, the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, to permanently increase the cap on the number of patients to whom a doctor can prescribe medication to treat opioid addiction. Dr. Paul introduced this amendment as part of his continuing efforts to improve the federal government’s response to the growing opioid crisis and expand access to treatment, which have also included serving as the lead Republican sponsor of the TREAT Act.
“We have made considerable progress to ensure that more Americans struggling with opioid abuse can receive treatment, and I applaud the HELP Committee for taking action today to help us gain more ground. I look forward to the full Senate following its lead,” said Dr. Paul.
In 2016, a final regulation was issued allowing physicians to treat up to 275 patients with buprenorphine, a key component in Suboxone, raising the cap from the previous limit of 100 patients. Dr. Paul’s amendment would codify the increased, 275-patient cap.
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), passed in 2016, included several principles from the TREAT Act, including allowing nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) to prescribe buprenorphine to treat patients with opioid addiction for the first time.