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November 03, 2023

Lawmakers Seek To Overrule Cops’ Medical Decision and Follow the Advice of Addiction Doctors

Credit: CATO Institute

Last March, I wrote about a recent episode of “Cops Practicing Medicine,” in which the Drug Enforcement Administration inserted itself into the medical management of opioid use disorder by proposing telehealth guidelines that undermined Congress’ intentions when it passed the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act at the end of 2022. The act removed the onerous rules and regulations surrounding the “X waiver” that the DEA required health care practitioners to obtain if they wanted to treat addiction with buprenorphine. The DEA’s proposed rule requires that any patients initially begun on buprenorphine via telehealth must see the prescribing practitioner in person within 30 days. The rule limits the prescription to a 30‐​day supply. The cops are concerned that patients will “abuse” or “divert” the buprenorphine into the black market if they do not get personally inspected by the physician after 30 days. The DEA has delayed implementing the proposed rule until the end of next year.

Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D‑NV), Thom Tillis (R‑NC), Tim Kaine (D‑VA), Shelley Moore Capito (R‑WV), Amy Klobuchar (D‑MN), Mark Kelly (D‑AZ), and Cory Booker (D‑NJ have joined the bill as co‐​sponsors. Representatives David Trone (D‑MD), Jay Obernolte (R‑CA), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R‑PA) introduced the bill in the House.

Read full article here.