Buprenorphine Bill Passes House 7/21/00

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In a victory for harm reduction, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved H.R. 2634 this past Wednesday, a bill to allow doctors to prescribe buprenorphine and other Schedule IV and V anti-addiction drugs from their office, by a vote of 412-1. The Senate version, S. 324, sponsored by Orrin Hatch (R-UT), is currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and has not yet been scheduled for legislative action.

According to Bill Piper, legislative analyst at the recently merged Lindesmith Center - Drug Policy Foundation, if H.R. 2634 and S. 324 are enacted, it would be the first time since the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act in 1914 that a general practitioner would be allowed to maintain an opiate-dependent patient on a narcotic. Physicians would be able to prescribe Schedule IV or V narcotics if the drugs have been approved for use in maintenance or detoxification treatment by the FDA and have not been the subject of an adverse determination.

In order to prescribe such drugs, according to Piper, doctors would have to be licensed under state law, have the training and experience to treat drug addicts, and have the capacity to refer patients to counseling and other ancillary services. In addition, they could not treat more than 20 people in an office setting at once unless the Secretary of Health and Human Services changed the guidelines.

Visit http://thomas.loc.gov to check the status of these and any other federal bills.

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Issue #146, 7/21/00 Hemispheric Rights Group Intervenes in "Drug Kingpin" Death Penalty Case, Cites US Violation of International Agreements | Interview with Mike Farrell: Movie Payola, Death Penalty | California Medical Marijuana Moves Ahead on Two Fronts | Study Says Marijuana Doesn't Interfere with AIDS Drugs, Scientific First Comes After Years-Long Battle With Government Health Honchos | Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush Puts Decriminalization "On The Table" | Columbian Fusarium Conundrum: Colombia Accepts/Rejects (choose one) US Biowar Plan | All the News That Fits: The New York Times and Colombia | Peru Blows Suspected Smugglers Out of the Sky, Again | Boston Study Finds Racial Disparities in Drug Cases | Buprenorphine Bill Passes House | AlertS -- Federal and State: Colombia, Meth Bill/Free Speech, Mandatory Minimums, California, New York, Washington | Alert -- International: Russian Federation Calling for Expulsion of Radical Party from United Nations | Job Opportunity in Minneapolis: Women With A Point | Event Calendar | Do You Read the Week Online?
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