ASAM Applauds House Energy & Commerce Committee for Inclusion of the MATE and MAT Acts in Advancing, Bipartisan Legislation
Inclusion of Provisions Reflected in the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act (H.R. 2067) and the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act (H.R. 1384) will help expand and mainstream addiction medicine
Rockville, MD – Today, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) applauded the House Energy & Commerce Committee for including key provisions in bipartisan legislation that aims to address the nation’s ongoing addiction and overdose crisis. ASAM commended the Committee for advancing provisions reflected in the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act and the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act—which are vital for expanding and mainstreaming access to evidence-based, addiction care. Treating addiction saves lives.
“With the country recording the highest-ever number of drug overdose deaths in a single year, it’s clear that the addiction and overdose crisis has been exacerbated by a lack of access to evidence-based, addiction treatment,” said Shawn Ryan, MD, MBA, FASAM, chair of the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s (ASAM) Legislative Advocacy Committee. “Provisions in the bipartisan MATE and MAT Acts represent a major step forward by ensuring more healthcare practitioners are empowered to provide evidence-based addiction treatment. ASAM commends the House Energy & Commerce Committee for advancing these critical provisions and urges the full House and Senate to pass them into law.”
In its mark-up session today, the Committee voted to advance provisions of the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act (H.R. 2067), bipartisan legislation designed to ensure more controlled medication prescribers have a baseline knowledge of how to treat patients with substance use disorder (SUD). Co-sponsored by Representatives Lori Trahan (D-MA), David P. McKinley (R-WV), David Trone (D-MD), Buddy Carter (R-GA), and Annie Kuster (D-NH), the MATE Act would help ensure more controlled medication prescribers have completed at least eight hours of education on treating and managing patients with SUD from one or more accredited organizations or an accredited health professional school or residency program.
The House Energy & Commerce Committee also voted to advance provisions of the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act (H.R. 1384), a bipartisan bill that would eliminate certain barriers to greater buprenorphine access, one of the three FDA-approved medications for treating opioid use disorder (OUD). Co-sponsored by Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Antonio Delgado (D-NY), and Mike Turner (R-OH), the MAT Act would eliminate the requirement that health care practitioners apply for a separate waiver through the DEA to prescribe buprenorphine for OUD treatment. The legislation would also eliminate the patient limits on prescribers of buprenorphine for OUD.
Companion pieces of legislation for the MATE and MAT Acts are under consideration in the U.S. Senate.
Currently, only a fraction of clinicians in the United States receives appropriate education on treating SUD and has a license to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of OUD. Stigma, discrimination, and lack of understanding about addiction – including within the medical community – have prevented far too many Americans from accessing evidence-based, addiction care. To address these challenges, we must better equip healthcare professionals across the healthcare continuum to treat SUD – and that starts with helping to expand access to, and mainstream, addiction medications and education on how to integrate the treatment of SUD into medical practice. Addiction treatment barriers are a contributing factor to the nation’s record number of drug overdose deaths, which surged to a predicted 107,622 drug overdose deaths in 2021.
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About the American Society of Addiction Medicine
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), founded in 1954, is a professional medical society representing over 7,000 physicians, clinicians and associated professionals in the field of addiction medicine. ASAM is dedicated to increasing access and improving the quality of addiction treatment, educating physicians and the public, supporting research and prevention and promoting the appropriate role of physicians in the care of patients with addiction. For more information, visit www.ASAM.org.