Massachusetts Medical Society: Federal Opioid Bill Passes with Bipartisan Support

Federal Opioid Bill Passes with Bipartisan Support

The federal Patients and Communities Act, addressing the opioid crisis, is awaiting the President’s signature. The bill includes provisions supported by the MMS as well as the AMA and other national health care organizations, including:

  • Expanded access to SUD prevention and treatment programs including medication
  • Improved treatment and prevention for pregnant women and newborns
  • Funding research and development of non-opioid pain therapies
  • Cracking down on international shipments of illicit drugs such as fentanyl
  • Lifting restrictions on using telemedicine for SUD treatment


The law includes provisions introduced by the MA Congressional delegation and supported by the MMS, such as:

  • Expanding access to medication treatment
  • Loan repayment for substance use professionals’ education
  • Improved implementation of the partial fill law


The law also requires that prescribers must e-prescribe controlled substances by 2021 (with some exceptions). The MMS continues to work with our congressional delegation and the AMA to accelerate DEA updates of outdated regulations. A full summary of the law is available here.

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