Congressman Rick Nolan

Representing the 8th District of Minnesota
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Nolan Provision to Advance Opioid Recovery Treatment Passes House as Part of ‘SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act’

Sep 28, 2018
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Congressman Rick Nolan (MN-08) announced today that the U.S. House of Representatives had passed his bipartisan provision to allow pharmacists and physicians to team up and ensure that patients can safely receive new, long-lasting implantable or injectable forms of treatment medication to help with their recovery from opioid addiction.

The text of the Ensuring Patient Access to Substance Use Disorder Treatments Act was included as Sec. 3204 of the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, H.R. 6, a comprehensive package of opioid-related provisions that will expand access to treatment and make long-term progress in addressing the opioid epidemic. 

Nolan stated, “It’s a common sense fix that could help save thousands of lives, and we want to get it on the President’s desk as soon as possible. The simple truth is, this epidemic crosses every regional, racial and ethnic divide and it has brought us to the point where there are nearly 43,000 opioid-linked drug fatalities in the United States every year. It’s time we start addressing ways we can reduce the death-toll and havoc opioid and substance addiction and abuse have on individuals and their families and this measure will help do exactly that.

Nolan pointed out that current Federal law stipulates that pharmacists can only dispense these treatment medications directly to patients - not physicians. To address this, Nolan’s provision will change Federal law - administered via the Controlled Substances Act - to allow pharmacists to dispense these treatments directly to doctors, who can then administer the treatment to the patient in safe and controlled healthcare facility setting. That way, patients can be assured a safe, steady dosage of medicine as well as proper storage and record keeping.

Earlier this year, Nolan opened a new front in the battle against opioid addiction and abuse, releasing draft legislation, the Opioid Advertising and Prescriber Prohibition Act of 2018, that would ban direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical company advertising of opioid drugs and opioid receptor antagonists (which are prescribed to treat the side effects of opioids). The measure, which is still in draft form, would also prohibit pharmaceutical companies or their agents from promoting these products to health care providers. To view the full press release click here.