11 governors urge CMS, Biden administration to expedite opioid law

Governors from 11 states sent a letter to the Biden administration urging it to implement a federal policy ahead of a January 2025 deadline to help fight opioid deaths.

The Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation Act was signed into law in 2022. The policy is designed to dramatically increase access to and use of non-opioid pain treatments for surgery patients, according to a news release from a coalition called Voices for Non-Opioid Choices shared with Becker's. Once implemented, the law would expand patient and provider access to FDA-approved non-opioid pain drugs and require a report to Congress on limitations, gaps, barriers and deficits in Medicare coverage for therapeutic services.

"As governors, we write to you with great urgency concerning the continuing epidemic caused by the opioid crisis in our states and local communities. As the Biden administration continues to do everything in its power to address this deadly epidemic, there is one straightforward step we believe the CMS can take expeditiously to decrease abuse and resulting deaths from opioids, including the prevention of opioid addiction before it begins," the governors wrote. "We urge you to expedite implementation of the NOPAIN Act by a full year to January 1, 2024."

The letter is signed by the governors of Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

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