“President Barack Obama tackled the opioid epidemic on Wednesday by telling health care providers across the country that access to medication-assisted treatment must be expanded.
For decades, those treating opioid addiction ignored the scientific consensus that the best approach involved medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration, coupled with counseling. Instead, the treatment industry insisted on a model known as “abstinence,” in which any prescription medication aimed at addressing a patient’s opioid use disorder was forbidden.
Ahead of a Wednesday speech in West Virginia, which has been hit particularly hard by the opioid crisis, Obama essentially said that will end. He released an order giving federal agencies with health care responsibilities 90 days to identify barriers to MAT and to come up with ways to remove them.
“Only a small minority of Americans who might benefit from this treatment are receiving it,” the order notes.”
See related fact sheet issued by the White House available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/10/21/fact-sheet-obama-administration-announces-public-and-private-sector
See related Presidential Memorandum – Addressing Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Use available at: http://www.newsroomamerica.com/story/525432.html
See related blog from the Incidental Economist: Access to Opioid Treatment Programs, Part 1 available at: http://blog.academyhealth.org/access-to-opioid-treatment-programs-part-1/
Source: HuffingtonPost.com – October 21, 2015