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November 22, 2019

New Bipartisan Bill Would Remove Prior Authorization Requirements for Addiction Treatment Drugs

H.R. 3925, authored by Reps. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and David McKinley (R-WV), would eliminate the requirement of prior authorization in “state Medicaid programs for addiction treatment medicines like buprenorphine.” According to STAT, this bipartisan bill attempts to put “patient health first” and “reduc[e] or eliminat[e] unnecessary barriers” that would otherwise prevent patients from getting the services that they need. According to a survey conducted by the AMA, 64% of physicians reported having to wait at least a day for authorization to prescribe such drugs. Insurers argue that a “blanket ban on prior authorization could hinder the quality of treatment.”