Today, ASHP urged the Biden administration to take immediate action to utilize pharmacists as clinical care providers in our nation’s struggle against opioid use disorder (OUD).
In a letter sent to President Biden, ASHP Chief Executive Officer Paul W. Abramowitz thanked the administration for highlighting the urgent need to address our nation’s opioid epidemic in the State of the Union address and called for seven immediate actions the administration can take without the need for additional legislation to expand access to needed treatments, including:
- Use the administration’s authority under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act to authorize pharmacists, as part of a physician-led care team, in every state to initiate medications for opioid use disorder (MOUDs), such as buprenorphine, and taper and discontinue use of opioids.
- Issue a PREP Act declaration authorizing pharmacists in every state to co-prescribe naloxone when dispensing opioids to patients at risk of experiencing an overdose.
- Require Medicare to reimburse physicians and health systems for medication management services related to the treatment of OUD, provided incident to the physician, by a pharmacist on their care team.
- Allow prescribers to initiate MOUDs via telehealth.
- Allow physicians to provide direct supervision of pharmacist services virtually.
- Allow patients to fill prescriptions for methadone for the treatment of OUD at their pharmacy.
- Engage professional associations in educational campaigns regarding naloxone, MOUDs, and other efforts to address the opioid epidemic.
ASHP stands ready to support the government’s efforts to address the nation’s opioid epidemic and looks forward to working with the administration to fully utilize pharmacists, the medication use experts, to expand access to needed treatments for OUD.