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Home » Valentine's Day » Senator Pete Harckham seeking Governor Kathy Hochul’s signature for buprenorphine accessibility bill

Senator Pete Harckham seeking Governor Kathy Hochul’s signature for buprenorphine accessibility bill

Former governor Andrew Cuomo signed two bills while in office that would make buprenorphine more accessible to people fighting addiction.

The drug is in five different medications that can be prescribed by doctors and work to fight the symptoms of withdrawal from opioids.

If a person can’t access them after being on them, withdrawal will set in and could cause them to go back to street drugs to alleviate the symptoms.


One of the bills allows doctors to prescribe their patients with private insurance carriers the medication without prior approval, and the other does the same for Medicaid recipients.

Medicaid through the state has a list of drugs labeled as preferred, and anything not on that list needs prior authorization, which is what the bill was supposed to diminish.

New York State Medicaid gets a discount on the drugs that are listed as preferred.

In 2020 some of the 5 medications were listed as preferred and some were not.

Now, Senator Pete Harckham’s Medicaid Prior Authorization Bill has been passed and is waiting for Governor Kathy Hochul’s signature.

Private insurance recipients can get any form of the 5 medications the doctor wants to prescribe, and Medicaid can’t because the cost was too high and passed their cap of $18-20 million.

In the last year 5,500 New Yorker’s died of drug overdoses, and while the cost may be higher for these medications, hospitalizations and emergency room visits will drop for that population.



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