Lawmakers Stop Work for the Year… Not Before Introducing Legislation to Prevent Opioid Addiction

At the end of the week, Congress will adjourn for the holidays – marking the end of their official work in 2019.  Before leaving for the year, however, it is expected that there
will be pieces of federal legislation introduced in both the House and the Senate
to prevent opioid addiction by more frequent and fulsome utilization of
non-opioid pain management approaches.

The Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation Act (“NOPAIN ACT”) is an important piece of legislation that, if enacted, could prevent millions of Americans from becoming newly persistent opioid users following an acute pain incident.  Current reimbursement
policies provide an economic disincentive to utilize non-opioid approaches to
pain management because reimbursement for these approaches is often
lacking.  Accordingly, utilization of the waterfront of non-opioid pain management approaches is underutilized.  To address this, the NOPAIN Act would encourage providers and patients to utilize non-opioid approaches by updating these outdated reimbursement policies.

In the context of the opioid addiction epidemic gripping the nation, we believe that must take an all-of-the-above approach to combatting rates of opioid addiction – including by preventing addiction where we can.  Part of this approach must include more frequent
utilization of non-opioid solutions, which include acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic services, mental health support, as well as non-opioid pharmaceutical approaches and medical devices.  All of these approaches have been demonstrated to be effective in managing these patients’ pain more effectively than opioids and more frequent utilization of these services would have the added benefit of minimizing unnecessary levels of exposure to powerful opioids.

2020 is going to be a big year for a number of reasons, including the elections in November.  Before then, we hope to work together, as a community, to speak with one voice on needed
federal policy changes to address the opioid epidemic.  The NOPAIN Act must be a part of that conversation.

Introduction of these important pieces of legislation is the first step.  More needs to be done and we need to let Congress know that these policies need to be enacted into law.  You can
have your voice heard and we hope that you will weigh in with your Members of Congress and express support for the legislation.

So, join us in supporting these critically needed pieces of legislation and let your lawmakers know that you want their support.  Please visit our Action Center here to join the debate
and let Congress know that we can prevent opioid addiction before it begins and, to do so, we need to enact the NOPAIN Act.



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