The Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act).
This act encompasses a wide range of issues, including access to treatment for substance use disorder and additional policies that are intended to balance patients’ pain management needs with prevention efforts.
“The new law aims to combat the opioid crisis, advance treatment and recovery efforts, improve prevention, protect communities, and guard against deadly illicit synthetic drugs (such as fentanyl),” says Jenna Ventresca, JD, director of health policy at APhA. “Pharmacists should be aware of ongoing federal efforts to address the opioid epidemic as these efforts will directly impact the care pharmacists provide to patients and communities.”
One of the many provisions of the act will require electronic prescribing for Medicare Advantage and Part D schedule II through V controlled substance prescriptions as a way to help deter prescription fraud and diversion. “This would not necessarily limit pharmacists’ ability to dispense prescriptions that are not electronically prescribed or a plans’ ability to cover otherwise valid prescriptions,” she says. “Another facet of the law requires HHS to establish a standard and a secure electronic prior authorization system for covered Part D drugs to streamline care.
Prescription drug plan sponsors and Medicare Advantage organizations are required to provide for electronic prior authorization requests from prescribers and subsequent responses by January 2021.”
Since President Trump signed the act into law on October 24, regulatory activity is forthcoming which will provide further details and compliance requirements. “Given the broad scope of the law, it will be important for pharmacists to monitor communications from their professional associations and regulatory entities at the state and federal levels,” Ventresca says.
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