BOSTON -- Leaders from the addiction community and on both sides of the aisle are heralding Governor Baker's new legislation to combat the opioid crisis. The leader of a major addiction-treatment facility says, "the breadth of the proposal is stunning." And a former "drug czar" in the Obama Administration says of the proposal "again positions Massachusetts as a significant leader" in battling the addiction crisis.
Top Obama Drug Official: Baker's Plan "Positions MA As A Significant Leader"
"Michael Botticelli, executive director of Boston Medical Center’s Grayken Center for Addiction, praised the governor’s package, saying it addresses the major components of the problem today. 'It again positions Massachusetts as a significant leader,' he said. He was particularly pleased with plans help identify effective treatment programs and the emergency room provisions. “What it acknowledges is that we need to try to engage people in treatment at various intervention points,” said Botticelli, a former director of substance abuse services in Massachusetts and former “drug czar” in the Obama administration." (Felice Freyer, "Mass. governor aims to expand battle against opioid addiction," The Boston Globe, 11/15/17)
Boston-Area Addiction Treatment Leader: "The Breadth Of The Proposal Is Stunning"
"Kurt A. Isaacson, president of Spectrum Health Systems, a large addiction-treatment provider, wrote in an e-mail that 'the breadth of the proposal is stunning and would have a real impact on the opioid epidemic.' Increasing the number of residential beds will be key, he said — but very difficult at current payment rates. (Felice Freyer, "Mass. governor aims to expand battle against opioid addiction," The Boston Globe, 11/15/17)
AFL-CIO Chief Backs Plan
"'It’s clear that with this level of addiction, one size doesn’t fit all,' said Massachusetts AFL-CIO president Steve Tolman. 'They’re trying to build some sort of mechanism to determine what is best.'" (Martha Bebinger, "Baker Calls For Improvements To Opioid Treatment And Prescribing," WBUR, 11/15/17)
Gosnold Addiction Center President: "Revolutionary" Bill Could Have Major Impact
"'What I heard really is almost revolutionary, in terms of what it can do to bring addiction treatment into the mainstream of how medicine is practiced' said Gosnold Innovation Center president Ray Tamasi." (Martha Bebinger, "Baker Calls For Improvements To Opioid Treatment And Prescribing," WBUR,11/15/17)
Medical Leaders Embrace Baker's Plan
"The Massachusetts Medical Society said it supports the bill overall and particularly a provision that would merge the state and federal law on partial-fill prescriptions. Those let patients fill less than their full opioid prescription initially, and permits them to go back to the same pharmacy for the balance within 30 days. 'The partial-fill approach to opioid prescribing remains a vital component in reducing opportunities for unused pain medication to be transferred from a patient to those who suffer from opioid abuse disorder or may be at risk of developing an opioid use disorder,' said MMS president Dr. Henry Dorkin." (Martha Bebinger, "Baker Calls For Improvements To Opioid Treatment And Prescribing," WBUR, 11/15/17)
State's Largest Insurer Applauds Proposal
"The nonprofit research foundation connected to Massachusetts’ largest insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, issued a statement commending Baker for creating a commission to better identify the various specialties of substance abuse clinicians. 'Many people in need of mental health and substance use services will benefit by being better able to identify clinicians who have the appropriate or desired specialty training needed for treatment as a result,' Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation President Audrey Shelto said in a statement." (Martha Bebinger, "Baker Calls For Improvements To Opioid Treatment And Prescribing," WBUR, 11/15/17)