October 1, 2018

Federal Opioid Reform Bill Signed into Law

After passing with a 98-1 vote in the Senate and 393-8 vote in the House, President Trump has signed H.R. 6 – the SUPPORT for Patient and Communities Act, a 250 page bill containing hundreds of initiatives that aim to address the opioid epidemic.

Among the many, many initiatives the bill proposes are:

  • More public FDA meetings and guidance documents to address challenges and barriers to the development of non-addictive pain medications
  • The development of evidence-based opioid analgesic prescribing guidelines for the indication-specific treatment of acute pain
  • Expanding access to medication-assisted therapy for the treatment of opioid use disorder by allowing more practitioners to prescribe drugs that treat opioid use disorder, and allowing those practitioners to treat more patients
  • Giving pharmacists tools to better recognize when to decline to fill certain prescriptions
  • Studies from the Department of Health and Human Services to measure the effectiveness of abuse-deterrent opioid formulations in preventing opioid abuse and misuse
  • Guidance documents from the Department of Health and Human Services regarding non-opioid treatment and management of pain, including evidence-based, non-opioid pharmacological therapies and non-pharmacological therapies
  • Initiatives to reduce opioid use in hospitals and emergency departments
  • Public health awareness and training

For more detailed information, the bill can be read in full online.

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