ASAM Sends Letter to US Senators Expressing Strong Support for Concurrent Passage of the MATE and MAT Acts
On July 13, ASAM sent a letter to Senators Patty Murray and Richard Burr, Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, respectively, in strong support for concurrent passage of S. 2235/H.R. 2067, the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act of 2021, and S. 445/ H.R. 1384, the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act of 2021. The MATE Act would ensure controlled medication prescribers registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have received at least eight hours of education on treating and managing patients with substance use disorder (SUD). That education could be delivered by any properly accredited organization or, in the case of newer prescribers, a health professional school or residency program. The MAT Act would eliminate an existing administrative barrier to office-based, buprenorphine prescribing for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD), which requires those prescribers to apply for a separate DEA registration (aka, the “X-waiver”) and subjects them to arbitrary patient limits and related DEA audits.
In its letter, ASAM notes that, for years, policymakers have been attempting to ameliorate the lack of medical education related to patients with SUD. ASAM goes on to state that concurrent passage of the MATE and MAT Acts represents a synergistic policy combination that will help mainstream and expand access to addiction education and care.