President Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget request will include nearly $1.1 billion in new funding to address prescription opioid abuse and heroin use, the White House announced this week. The proposal includes $1 billion in new mandatory funding over two years to expand access to medication-assisted treatment in states; access to substance use treatment providers through the National Health Services Corps; and evaluate and improve treatment for patients with opioid use disorders. The rest would go to the departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to prevent overdoses, increase access to medication-assisted treatment and the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, and support enforcement activities.
“Every day, hospitals see the devastating toll of opioid abuse on patients, their families and their communities,”said American Hospital Association President and CEO Rick Pollack. “That is why the AHA applauds the new funding proposed today by the Administration to help people with opioid use disorders and heroin addiction get needed care…. We would also recommend that the Administration include oversight of substance abuse parity laws, re-evaluate the effect of quality measurement of prescribing pain medication, and increase [National Institutes of Health] funding on developing viable alternatives to opioids.”