Topic: Legislation, Regulation & Litigation
Posts covering federal, state and local legislation and regulatory actions as well as litigation impacting the addiction field.
Will the White House’s “X waiver” elimination have unintended consequences?
According to an article in Politico, the White House held a ceremony on January 24, 2023 to sign the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act. This Act eliminated the special training requirement for doctors and other health practitioners who wanted to prescribe medication-assisted treatment to the opioid-addicted. While making medication-assisted treatment more broadly available could be a positive move, does it take into account the care that the opioid-addicted really need ?
Should people with addiction disorders be forced by governments into treatment?
Governor Gavin Newsom of California has proposed a court program that would force unhoused people with severe mental illnesses and addiction disorders into treatment. The moves comes in response to a worsening humanitarian crisis concerning people living on the streets, but has raised concerns from disability rights and civil liberties advocates. According to the proposed plan, those who do not follow through with the treatment could be forced into conservatorships.
Indivior must face states’ monopoly claim over opioid addiction drug Suboxone
(Reuters) - Drugmaker Indivior Inc must face a lawsuit by 42 state attorneys general accusing it of using illegal tactics to shield its opioid addiction treatment Suboxone from generic competition, a federal judge has ruled. States have said that the company's conduct forced consumers to pay inflated prices for the treatment amid an epidemic of opioid addiction. U.S. District Judge Mitchell Goldberg in Philadelphia found Monday that a reasonable jury could find that Indivior's switch from a pill to an oral film form of the drug in 2009 was intended to extend its monopoly just as generic manufacturers were poised to begin selling their own pills, a strategy known as product hopping.
British Columbia to decriminalize small amounts of cocaine, heroin, meth and ecstasy
TORONTO — The possession of small amounts of several illicit drugs, including cocaine and opioids such as fentanyl or heroin, will be temporarily decriminalized in British Columbia, the federal government said Tuesday, in what it cast as a “bold” step to “turn the tide” in the province’s overdose crisis.
Doctors, companies push to keep looser rules for prescribing opioid treatment drugs
WASHINGTON — It got a lot easier for patients with opioid addiction to get their medication remotely during the pandemic — and now addiction doctors and telehealth companies are pushing Congress to make those flexibilities permanent. Before Covid-19, patients had to see a doctor in person for prescriptions to help them with their addictions, like buprenorphine. Now, at least temporarily, they can get them via telehealth appointments. Experts say loosening the rules helped eliminate longstanding barriers to addiction care, like a lack of transportation or a shortage of clinicians who prescribe medically assisted treatment, especially in rural communities. But the changes are temporary, tied to the state of “emergency” associated with the pandemic — and proponents want them made permanent.
FY2022 Federal Budget Includes Funds for Recovery Support Service
According to advocates such as Faces & Voices of Recovery (FAVOR), while a long-requested 10% set-aside for recovery support services was included in the president's budget request to Congress, that provision did not make it into the final budget bill. Patty McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer, Faces & Voices of Recovery, stated that “Over the last 20 years, our advocacy work has led to substantial increases in federal funding for recovery support services. These increases in federal funding have allowed our communities to build and strengthen programs where it counts–in community-based settings."
The Sackler Act: Will it Provide Justice for America?
In response to the legal maneuverings of the Sackler family as they attempt to escape the consequences of their actions, Representative Carolyn B. Maloney of New York introduced the Sacker Act on March 19, 2021. The full title of this bill is “The SACKLER Act and Other Policies to Promote Accountability for the Sackler Family’s Role in the Opioid Epidemic.” The purpose of this legislation is to prevent individuals who have not filed for bankruptcy, like members of the Sackler family, from obtaining releases from individual liability through bankruptcy proceedings. This is exactly what the Sacklers have been trying to do—and succeeding until the most recent development on this matter on December 16, 2021.
SAMHSA to Launch New “Office of Recovery”
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is launching an Office of Recovery, within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, to advance the agency’s commitment to, and support of, recovery for all Americans. September marks National Recovery Month, and in organizing this new office, SAMHSA will now have a dedicated team with a deep understanding of recovery to promote policies, programs and services to those in or seeking recovery.