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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: February 19, 2019 10:38 AM
From: Senator Michele Brooks
To: All Senate members
Subject: Licensing Prescribers of Suboxone
In the near future, I will be reintroducing Senate Bill 1054 from last session, which will provide for the licensure of office-based Suboxone prescribers and ensure that the consumer receives addiction counseling and treatment in conjunction with the medication.

Suboxone, which is also known by its generic name, buprenorphine, is used as a first step in assisting those addicted to heroin and opioids such as oxycodone who are in recovery. Unfortunately, individuals across Pennsylvania are now using and abusing Suboxone/buprenorphine, and we must take steps to ensure that it is only being prescribed in combination with drug and alcohol addiction treatments licensed by the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

Those who prescribe Suboxone/buprenorphine are able to do so through a special license from the federal government; however, they do so with no state oversight. My legislation will license office-based prescribers of Suboxone/buprenorphine, establish a fee for the licenses that will be used by the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs to fund oversight and licensure programs, and ensure that the required counseling is provided to patients, along with the medication. Furthermore, this legislation will require the Department of State to establish consequences for failing to adhere to these new requirements.

Last session, this legislation was cosponsored by Senators Hutchinson, Rafferty, Reschenthaler, Stefano, and K. Ward. I hope you will join me in cosponsoring this legislation. Please do not hesitate to contact my office with any questions.

Introduced as SB675