March 6, 2023
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressmen Donald Norcross (D-NJ-01) and Don Bacon (R-NE-02) unveiled the Modernizing Opioid Treatment Access (MOTA) Act (H.R. 1359). This evidence-based legislation would increase access to care for people experiencing opioid use disorder (OUD) by reforming the outdated regulations governing the prescription and dispensing of methadone. Methadone is one of the most effective medicines used for the treatment of OUD and is considered an “essential medicine” by the World Health Organization. U.S. Representatives Annie Kuster (D-NH-02), David Trone (D-MD-06), Brain Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), Paul Tonko (D-NY-20), Brittany Pettersen (D-CO-07), and Andy Kim (D-NJ-03) are original cosponsors of the bill.
“Improving access to treatment saves lives, period,” said Congressman Norcross. “This legislation lowers barriers to care at a time when we are still suffering staggering losses due to the ongoing opioid epidemic. We must end the monopoly on this life-saving medicine that only serves to enrich a cartel of for-profit clinics and stigmatize patients.”
“There are only six certified methadone clinics in Nebraska, making it a significant obstacle for those seeking treatment to overcome their opioid addiction,” said Congressman Bacon. “The current law requires patients to visit a clinic daily, which is not physically possible outside of the Omaha/Lincoln metro areas. It’s time make the treatment for opioid addiction more accessible than opioids themselves.”
The legislation makes two crucial changes to FDA regulations that have governed methadone since the 1970s and are not supported by modern medical science:
Allowing board-certified addiction physicians and addiction psychiatrists to prescribe methadone.
Allowing pharmacies to dispense methadone.