Why can’t more physicians prescribe medicines to treat addiction? Elizabeth Tracey reports


The Modernizing Opioid Treatment and Access Act, or MOTAA, was presented to Congress in March 2023, as a means to expand access to medicines used in opioid use disorder treatment. Clearly such legislation is needed in light of the 100,000 plus deaths in 2022 due to opioid overdose, recently reported by the CDC. Michael Fingerhood, a substance use disorders expert at Johns Hopkins, explains what happened to the bill.

Fingerhood: The MOTAA actually supposed to have a piece allowing for primary care providers who are certified addiction medicine especially to be able to prescribe methadone for opioid use disorder. Really sadly the for profit methadone treatment program constituency lobbied to prevent that from happening. To find as many ways to try to help patients is really crucial, touch points are crucial, ED starting methadon or buprenorphine, EMS starting buprenorphine any touch point where you can try to help patients take a first step in recovery is really crucial.  :32 

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.