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Unlike any other medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), health care providers are required to obtain a special "waiver" to prescribe buprenorphine, 1 of 3 medications approved to treat opioid use disorder. Additionally, there is a limit on how many patients they are able to treat at a given time. These requirements do not exist for any other medication.
It is time to remove these stigmatizing barriers. We urge you to send the below email to your Members of Congress to have them cosponsor the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act, H.R. 1384/S. 445, a bill to expand access to life-saving treatment for opioid use disorder.
For more information, please read our position statement on the buprenorphine prescribing waiver.
Pass the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act (H.R. 1384/S. 445)
Dear [Decision Maker],
I write to urge you to pass H.R. 1384/S. 445, the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act, which would remove the waiver requirement to prescribe buprenorphine, one of three approved medications to treat opioid use disorder. Unlike any other medication, health care providers are required to obtain a "waiver," or special permission from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), to prescribe buprenorphine and are only allowed to treat a limited number of patients at a time. To put this in perspective, no such restriction applies to narcotic pain relievers.
While removing the waiver is a critical step, we also need health care providers to receive sufficient training in addiction and to increase insurance reimbursements to adequately cover the cost of providing quality care. Too many barriers stand in the way of people receiving quality addiction treatment. Stigma is arguably the greatest barrier. Not only does it prevent people from seeking treatment, it has influenced policies and created regulatory hurdles that make treatment inaccessible.
We urge you to pass the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act, so that those suffering from opioid use disorder are able to access life-saving treatment.