Statement: NYS Senate Paves Way for Universal Access to Effective, Lifesaving Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 13, 2019

Contact:

Yan Snead, ysnead@katalcenter.org | 609.680.8185

 

NYS Senate Paves Way for Universal Access to Effective, Lifesaving Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

NYS Assembly Urged to Act Immediately

 

New York, NY: A package of crucial bills passed by the New York State Senate eliminates insurance barriers to treatment, and increases access to medications used to treat Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) for people in correctional settings and people on Medicaid. Failure of the Assembly to follow suit puts the lives of New Yorkers at risk and ignores the impassioned pleas of family members who have lost loved ones to this crisis.

“In the face of an unprecedented overdose crisis, immediate action must be taken to save lives and provide universal access to the evidence-based treatments proven to be most effective. In the course of our work, we have heard from family members about the lost opportunities for their deceased loved ones to access effective care, those who have experienced torturous withdrawal in jail and prison, and healthcare providers who feel as if their hands are tied from effectively treating their patients," said Keith Brown, Director of Health and Harm Reduction at the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice. "We know what it will take for New York to lead the nation in our response to the overdose crisis, and a failure to do so considering this knowledge is unconscionable. This package of bills, A2904 Quart/S 4808 Harckham, A7246 Rosenthal/S5935 Harckham, A833 Rosenthal/ S2161 Bailey, and A972A Rosenthal/S4643A Harckham takes a pragmatic, science-based approach in deploying effective treatment in high-risk settings and removes unnecessary barriers to care. Should the Assembly fail to act immediately, another year will go by in which New York families mourn the loss of loved ones to a crisis of inaction and failed policy on the part of their elected officials.”

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