2019 Advocacy Accomplishments: Mid-Year Update

Capitol Hill with flag

From Capitol Hill to statehouses across the country, Shatterproof has been working hard this year to advance policy that will improve treatment quality, access, and coverage for every American with a substance use disorder.

Thanks to thousands of passionate advocates, we’ve made a lot of progress so far in 2019. Here’s what we’ve achieved together.

Wins in 6 states

New York

Assembly Bill A2904 removes prior authorization for FDA-approved addiction medications, making it easier for patients to access science-based treatment without extra hoop-jumping. The bill has passed both the Assembly and the Senate and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Connecticut

House Bill 7125 establishes state compliance with federal parity laws, and eliminates some access limitations for both naloxone and addiction medications. This bill has passed both houses and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

California

Senate Bill 235 establishes much-needed licensing procedures and care standards for outpatient addiction treatment programs. The bill has passed the Senate and is awaiting action in the Assembly.

Texas

House Bill 3285 includes a provision eliminating prior authorization on some addiction medications in the state Medicaid program. It also includes a continuing education requirement for doctors who prescribe opioids, a training requirement for college residential advisors, a statewide public awareness campaign, and a naloxone access grant program. This bill was passed by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor.

Missouri

House Bill 904 has a few key elements:

  • It prohibits prior authorization, step therapy, and annual and lifetime limits for all FDA-approved addiction medications in commercial health insurance plans. It also requires that these meds be placed on the lowest cost-tier formulary.
  • It requires the state Medicaid plan to include all of the FDA-approved medications on the preferred drug list.
  • It also requires that all treatment programs disclose which medications they offer and their level of certification by an independent body about their standards of care.

This bill was included as part of SB 514, and it has passed through the legislature. It awaits a signature from the Governor.

Colorado

HB 19-1269 has been signed into law. It removes prior authorization for addiction medications and establishes mental health parity compliance procedures.

Promising federal progress

This year on Capitol Hill, we’ve been advocating for full funding of the Loan Repayment Program for the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Workforce ($25 million) and the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Workforce Training Demonstration Program ($10 million), which was approved in the House and is pending action in the Senate.

Pushing for further action

The federal government can do more to save lives. This year, Shatterproof will continue to advocate for:

  • An effort to provide more certainty for State Opioid Response Grants by extending the program for five more years (H.R. 2466, the State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act)
  • The John. S. McCain Opioid Addiction Prevention Act (S. 724/H.R. 1614) to limit initial opioid prescriptions for acute pain to seven days.
  • Legislation that makes it easier for medical providers to prescribe buprenorphine for addiction treatment, without excessive requirements that restrict access (H.R. 2482, the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act).
  • The Fentanyl Sanctions Act (HR 2483/ S 1044) to make trafficking of fentanyl to the U.S. more difficult.

Bringing Shatterproof’s mission to the national stage

Kevin Roy, Chief Policy Officer, recently participated in a Congressional panel with the Better World Campaign on how the U.S. and UN are combating the opioid crisis. The panel included representatives from the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and the U.S. Department of State.

In April, Gary Mendell, Shatterproof’s founder and CEO, delivered the keynote address at the National Academies of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. Gary also recently testified at the Johnson & Johnson opioid trial in Oklahoma, outlining what must be done to improve addiction treatment in America.

Thank you!

Your voice, your passion, your stories. That’s what’s made all the difference in advancing this work so far this year. Thank you for your support. But there’s much more work to do. Together, we’ll create even more change in the months and years to come.

Shatterproof: Stronger Than Addiction

Fixing the broken treatment system starts now

Shatterproof is transforming addiction treatment in America. Stay tuned for updates and information

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