The Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act of 2019 (HR 2482, 116th Congress) would loosen restrictions associated with narcotic drugs intended for opioid use disorder treatment, such as buprenorphine. Under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 823(g)), healthcare providers who dispense narcotic drugs to treat opioid use disorder must submit an annual, separate registration to retain the ability to dispense these drugs to patients. If the drugs are in Schedules II, IV, or V, the annual registration requirement may be waived under circumstances described in the Controlled Substances Act, including that the healthcare provider must not treat more than 30 patients at any one time. HR 2482 would eliminate these restrictions such that practitioners prescribing narcotic drugs in Schedules III, IV, or V for opioid use disorder treatment would, by default, not be required to submit an annual registration. The Act further calls for amending other sections of the Controlled Substances Act, and portions of the Public Health Service Act and Social Security Act to remove the need for practitioners to file this annual registration. Finally, the Act commissions an educational campaign to inform practitioners of the elimination of the registration requirement.
The opioid crisis claims the lives of more than 130 individuals every day in the US. A variety of regulatory and legislative proposals have sought to address this crisis and curb the number of individuals with opioid use disorder. One such approach involves expanding the use and availability of pharmaceutical drugs to treat opioid use disorder, such as buprenorphine.