September 6, 2018 – Medicaid Help
Anchor lead: With Medicaid expansion, more people are at least filling prescriptions for drugs to help them get off opioids, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Medicaid expansion in a few states has led to an increase in prescriptions for a drug combination called buprenorphine naloxone, intended to help manage opioid addiction, a recent study reported. Eric Strain, a drug abuse expert at Johns Hopkins, offers his opinion.
Strain: Those data are intrigued to see that there’s increased utilization of buprenorphine naloxone in those states where Medicaid expansion occurred. We don’t know if the patients are taking the buprenorphine naloxone what we know is that they’re being prescribed it. We do know that buprenorphine naloxone is diverted into the general community. But I think that removing barriers to access to treatment such as the financing of it, is a critical step, and that’s what Medicaid expansion really is helping with when it comes to substance use disorders. :31
Strain is in favor of reducing barriers to addiction treatment as much as possible nationally. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.