Skip to Main Content

WASHINGTON — Fewer doctors would have to wait for permission to prescribe addiction treatment drugs under new, bipartisan legislation being unveiled this week by two lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Under a new bill authored by Reps. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.), the practice of “prior authorization,” in which insurers require doctors to seek approval before they can proceed with a prescription or procedure, would be banned in state Medicaid programs for addiction treatment medicines like buprenorphine.


The bill comes amid part of a broader movement to expand addiction treatment as the overdose crisis continues to claim roughly 70,000 American lives each year. Experts universally view increasing availability for addiction medicines as critical to preventing future deaths.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!

  • Making someone who finally musters the courage to want to stop an addiction wait at all, for anything including approval by insurance, is ridiculously counter-productive. Protests by Big Insurance Crooks smacks of money goals, not of care for the insured = patient, and should have never been allowed to fly. A big correction is needed, asap.

Comments are closed.