President Signs SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act

Law Makes Permanent Waivers for PAs to Prescribe Buprenorphine

October 24, 2018

Today, President Donald J. Trump signed into law H.R. 6, the Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act of 2018. This bipartisan law was agreed to by the House and Senate to respond to the opioid crisis.

A critical provision contained in this law has made permanent a previously created program allowing physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) to obtain federal waivers to prescribe buprenorphine—a leading Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)—for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). This provision also further expands the list of providers eligible to obtain such waivers by creating a five-year authorization for certified nurse-midwives, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse anesthetists.

Following the signing ceremony, Jonathan E. Sobel, DMSc, MBA, PA-C, DFAAPA, FAPACVS, president and chair of the AAPA Board of Directors, said, “AAPA applauds Congress for including this crucial provision as part of comprehensive legislation aimed at stemming the tide of the U.S. opioid epidemic. More than 115 opioid-related deaths occur every day. This law is vital to expanding access to life-saving MAT treatment by ensuring that qualified health care providers—including PAs and NPs—have the critical tools they need to treat patients affected by the opioid epidemic. PAs are well-positioned to do their part.”

Read More
Opioid Crisis Package Elevates PAs Role in Opioid Crisis
Letter to Congress in Support of HR 6
Working to Reverse the Nation’s Opioid Crisis

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