New Jersey Senate Committee Votes to End Prior Authorization for Medication-Assisted Treatment Under Medicaid

Press Release March 18, 2019
Media Contact

Jag Davies 212-613-8035
Roseanne Scotti 609-610-8243

Trenton, NJ – Today, the New Jersey Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee voted in support of ending prior authorizations for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) under Medicaid. Decades of evidence demonstrates that MAT (i.e. methadone, buprenorphine) for opioid use disorder increases treatment retention while reducing morbidity and mortality, opioid use, overdoses, and risk behaviors that transmit HIV and hepatitis C. 
Roseanne Scotti, New Jersey State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, issued the following statement after today’s vote:
“We are thrilled that this common sense and compassionate legislation will bring Medicaid plans into line with commercial health plans – which were banned from requiring prior authorizations for MAT in 2017 – and allow all people to access life-saving, evidence-based treatment in a timely manner. Requiring prior authorization can delay addiction treatment, resulting in missed opportunities to help patients who are struggling with substance use disorders and seeking treatment.”
“This is a critically important issue when New Jersey is losing more than 3,000 people a year to drug overdose. Until treatment is truly accessible, we will continue to lose family, friends, neighbors and loved ones to preventable opioid-related causes. We look forward to continuing our work with the Legislature to expand access to evidence-based treatment in New Jersey.”
Click here for more background on the Overdose Prevention Campaign’s work to prevent overdoses in New Jersey.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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