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Carter Introduces Legislation to Remove Barriers to Abuse Deterrent Opioids

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Washington, April 23, 2018 | comments
Congressman Earl L. "Buddy" Carter (R-Ga.) introduced legislation today to remove barriers to abuse deterrent opioids.

Abuse deterrent formulations (ADFs) represent a breakthrough technology that helps prevent the crushing, snorting, and injection of painkillers. 

Currently, many prescription drug plans present access barriers for chronic pain patients to ADFs including cost-sharing tiers, fail-first requirements, and prior authorization requirements. Instead of receiving ADFs, often patients are limited to using traditional opioids that can be easily diverted, crushed, snorted, and injected.

Carter's legislation, the Abuse Deterrent Access Act of 2018, directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct a study on barriers to accessing abuse deterrent opioid formulations for chronic pain patients enrolled in Medicare.

"Each year, approximately 4.5 million Americans use prescription pain medications for non-medical purposes contributing to 89 prescription drug overdose deaths per day," said Carter."Of those that misused prescription pain relievers, 53% reported obtaining them from friends or relatives. As the only pharmacist in Congress, I believe we must find solutions to combat this crisis that prevent opioid diversion while maintaining legitimate patient access for those who truly need it. ADFs ensure those who legitimately need pain medication are able to access it while helping to prevent misuse."

Original cosponsors include Representatives Dave Loebsack (D-Ia.) and Tom Reed (R-Ny.). 

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