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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: October 11, 2017 10:12 AM
From: Senator Michele Brooks
To: All Senate members
Subject: Licensure of Prescribers of Suboxone
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation to license prescribers of Suboxone, also known by its generic name – Buprenorphine. Buprenorphine/Suboxone is used by some people who are addicted to opiate drugs such as heroin and oxycontin to assist them in beginning the recovery process.

Unfortunately, as I’m sure you are aware, Buprenorphine/Suboxone has become a drug that is abused, misused and is now out of control here in Pennsylvania. We must work to control diversion of Buprenorphine/Suboxone and assure that it is utilized only in conjunction with drug and alcohol addiction treatment licensed by the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

The prescribers do receive a special license from the Federal Government that authorizes them to write prescriptions for Suboxone. However, there is currently no state oversight. My legislation aims to license the office based prescribers of Suboxone requiring that the necessary addiction counseling and treatment that is needed to accompany the medication is actually provided.

My bill will also establish a fee for the licensees, which will fund the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs to provide oversight and licensure. The bill also requires the Department of State to establish guidelines for consequences for failure to adhere to these new requirements.

I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB1054