S.3257 would ease restrictions on injectable buprenorphine.

A bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and introduced in Senate would improve access to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD). The bipartisan bill, S.3257, would loosen federal restrictions on access to MOUD by increasing the amount of time prescribers may store long-acting injectable (LAI) buprenorphine dispensed from a pharmacy for administration to their patients.

An estimated 107,000 lives were lost to drug poisoning last year, seventy-five percent of which involved opioids, such as heroin and illicit fentanyl. There is an urgent need to ensure individuals with OUD can access life-saving treatments, including LAI buprenorphine.

Under Section 309(a)(5) of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), prescribers may only hold LAI buprenorphine for 14 days after it is dispensed from a pharmacy. If the medication is not administered to the patient within that timeframe, it must be disposed of. 

If the Senate passes the IMPACT Act during the lame duck session, it will permit health care providers to hold the medication in their facility for up to 60 days. The change to the CSA would improve flexibility in providing individualized treatment to people with opioid use disorder.

Health policy advocates recently held a briefing on the Senate bill to inform and engage congressional staff, patient advocacy groups, professional associations, and other supporters of increased access to treatment for opioid use disorder. 

Senators Jeanne Shaheen (NH) and Shelley Moore Capito (WV) introduced S.3257.

Representative Dean (PA-4) sponsored Section 264 of H.R.7666, a provision to expand the 14-day limit to 60 days. H.R.7666 passed the House on June 22, 2022. 

Read the Senate bill text.

Read Sen. Shaheen’s news release.

Read Rep. Dean’s news release. 

Join the advocates’ sign on letter.