ASAM Sends Recommendations to FDA on Expanding Prescriber Education
On December 2nd, ASAM sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) responding to their request for feedback in reevaluating the voluntary status of the Opioid Analgesics (OA) Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program. Currently, FDA is considering extending the REMS program to become a mandatory course for all opioid prescribers.
In the letter, ASAM urged against FDA making the REMS program mandatory for all opioid prescribers, outlining concerns that this approach could constrain clinicians’ flexibility to meet educational requirements. Instead, ASAM identified other strategies to expand provider education more effectively. Primarily, ASAM emphasized the importance of the concurrent passage of the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act (S 2235/HR 2067) and the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act (S 445/HR 1384). When paired together, these complementary legislative initiatives would streamline the process for obtaining a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) license to prescribe controlled medication, while conditioning applicant approval upon self-attestation of a minimum number of education hours in substance use disorder treatment and management. Under the MATE Act, clinicians would have more options to complete education requirements, including SUD training from accredited medical schools and residency programs. Ultimately, this legislation would fill long-standing gaps in prescriber education, while also minimizing the administrative hurdles faced by clinicians.