NOPAIN Act Basics
What is the NOPAIN Act?
The Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation Act (“NOPAIN Act”) is a policy that will prevent opioid addiction before it starts by increasing the use of non-opioid pain management approaches in outpatient surgical settings.
What Will the NOPAIN Act Do?
The NOPAIN Act will increase the use of non-opioid pain management approaches by changing outdated federal reimbursement policies. The policy will:
- Expand patient and provider access to FDA approved non-opioid pain management approaches in all outpatient surgical settings.
- Require a report to Congress on limitations, gaps, barriers to access, or deficits in Medicare coverage or reimbursement for therapeutic services.
What is the Status of the NOPAIN Act?
The NOPAIN Act was passed in an end-of-year legislative package in the 117th Congress in 2022. As a result of the law, patients and providers will have expanded access to non-opioids starting in 2025.
Why Do We Need the NOPAIN Act?
This NOPAIN Act will ensure that safe, non-addictive therapies are widely available to the tens of millions of Americans who undergo an outpatient surgical procedure every year. Drug-related overdoses and deaths skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in the highest rates ever recorded. This policy change aims to reduce unnecessary exposure to opioids and the likelihood of opioid abuse or addiction following an acute pain incident.
Who Championed the NOPAIN Act?
Representatives Terri Sewell (D-AL), David McKinley (R-WV), Ann Kuster (D-NH), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced and championed the NOPAIN Act.
In 2023, it is critical that Congress and the Biden Administration take action to accelerate the implementation of the NOPAIN Act to ensure immediate access to non-opioids for patients and their providers.
Why I Support the NOPAIN Act
- “The NOPAIN Act would make critical changes to the way Medicare classifies non-addictive opioid alternatives and would empower doctors to prescribe treatments that are best suited for their patients’ needs. I am proud to introduce this critical legislation to prevent the continued needless loss of life.”
Rep. Sewell (D-AL), Champion Sponsor of H.R. 3259
- “While most of the attention has been paid to the Covid pandemic in the last year, our nation’s substance abuse epidemic has grown event worse. Yet, our healthcare system still unnecessarily encourages the use of opioids. Our bill would ensure that non-opioid drugs and devices to treat and manage pain are not put at a disadvantage. While pain management for all patients should be handled between a patient and doctor, opioids should not be the first or only option given.”
Rep. McKinley (R-WV), Champion Sponsor of H.R. 3259
- “I am pleased to help introduce this bipartisan legislation which will expand access to non-opioid pain management alternatives for patients. The NOPAIN Act marks a critical step in our national efforts to curb the opioid epidemic and ensure that patients have viable non-opioid alternatives that present a lower risk of addiction and misuse. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in advancing this bipartisan legislation.”
Rep. Kuster (D-NH), Champion Sponsor of H.R. 3259
- “The substance and opioid use disorder crises have affected countless families and communities across the United States. I am proud to cosponsor the bipartisan NOPAIN Act, which would limit unnecessary exposure to opioids by ensuring access to non-addictive therapy alternatives for Americans who have undergone outpatient surgical procedures. Now, more than ever, Americans should have access to medical treatment without fear of developing a substance use disorder as a result.”
Rep. Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Champion Sponsor of H.R. 3259
- “As Granite Staters grapple with dual crises imposed by the pandemic and the worsened opioid epidemic, we must address substance misuse as holistically and comprehensively as possible. This bipartisan bill would help stem opioid misuse by encouraging doctors to prescribe alternatives to opioids for Medicare patients struggling with pain management. Turning the tide on the opioid epidemic must be at the top of Congress’ agenda, and I’ll keep working across the aisle to find common-sense ways to help Granite Staters from developing addictions and becoming victims of this deadly epidemic.”
Senator Shaheen (D-NH), Champion Cosponsor of S. 586
- “An important part of this approach is ensuring that the Medicare program does not create a perverse incentive for doctors to continue to prescribe opioids to patients. Instead, we should incentivize providers to utilize innovative non-opioid drugs and devices. The NOPAIN Act is an important step forward in preventing future addiction.”
Senator Capito, (R-WV), Champion Sponsor of S. 586
- “The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a year of historic levels of overdoses and we must deploy every tool in our toolbox to combat this devastating opioid crisis. I believe that we should be incentivizing the use of non-addictive pain alternatives, but unfortunately, our current Medicare policies do not. I’m proud to support the NOPAIN Act, and I know that this is an important step forward in promoting responsible, non-addictive pain alternatives.”
Senator Portman, (R-OH), Champion Sponsor of S. 586