Washington, D.C. – This past week, U.S. Representatives Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Victoria Spartz (IN-05), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) introduced the Improving Access to Care and Treatment (IMPACT) Act. The legislation would increase the amount of time a physician may hold long-acting injectable (LAI) buprenorphine – a form of medication for Opioid Use Disorder – from a specialty pharmacy.
The current 14-day window is a barrier to healthcare providers utilizing LAI buprenorphine due to the logistical hurdles associated with specialty pharmacy delivery. This legislation makes a commonsense change to the law that was envisioned in the SUPPORT Act by allowing health care providers to hold the drug in their facility for up to 60 days. It helps to facilitate continuity of care and treatment of people with Opioid Use Disorder by reducing an unnecessary barrier to this innovative treatment method. Given the magnitude of the opioid epidemic, access to all treatments is vital.
“Our substance use epidemic continues to grow and get worse – we need innovative treatment methods to better combat substance use disorder,” Rep. Dean said. “The IMPACT Act will reduce barriers to treatment, ensuring healthcare providers have the full access to proven medications, in turn helping patients get access to a potentially life-saving treatment.”
“The opioid epidemic has reached historic levels and is a national crisis affecting social and economic welfare of our country and our people,” Rep. Spartz said. “The IMPACT Act is important commonsense legislation which will bring much-needed treatments to more Americans and save lives.”
"While Pennsylvania experienced a decrease in opioid deaths in the years preceding the pandemic, 2020 brought about a tragic uptick and 2021 is on track to be just as devastating," Rep. Scanlon said. "We need to use every available tool to fight this addiction and mental health crisis, including by increasing access to medication assisted treatment like long-acting injectable (LAI) buprenorphine. I'm proud to join my colleagues in introducing the IMPACT Act to help reduce barriers to using this life-saving treatment.”
“As our nation continues to grapple with the opioid epidemic, it is vital that our healthcare providers have the appropriate tools and resources to treat opioid dependence,” Rep Fitzpatrick said. “I am proud to join my colleagues in supporting this bipartisan legislation which will increase access to life-saving medication and ensure that those living with substance use disorder can get the treatment they need.”
This bill is supported by American Society of Addiction Medicine, American Psychiatric Association, American Medical Association, Advocates for Opioid Recovery, Aimed Alliance, Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, Center for U.S. Policy, FORCE, Kennedy Forum, Maryland Heroin Awareness, Mother’s Addiction Journey, No More OD’s Inc., Partnership to End Addiction, Prevention Action Alliance, Shatterproof, The Voices Project, Tyler’s Light, and Young People in Recovery.
Rep. Madeleine Dean is a mother, grandmother, attorney, professor, former four-term member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and U.S. Representative for the Fourth District of Pennsylvania.