Medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction
(a) Except in the case of injectables, a healthcare insurer, including Medicaid, shall not:
(1) Require prior authorization in order for a patient to obtain coverage of buprenorphine, naloxone, naltrexone, methadone, and their various formulations and combinations approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of opioid addiction; or
(2) Impose any other requirement other than a valid prescription and compliance with the medication-assisted treatment guidelines issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration under the United States Department of Health and Human Services in order for a patient to obtain coverage for buprenorphine, naloxone, naltrexone, methadone, and their various formulations and combinations approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of opioid addiction.
(b) Subdivision (a)(1) of this section shall only apply to the Arkansas Medicaid Program as it pertains to prescription drugs for treatment of opioid addiction designated as preferred on the evidence-based preferred drug list, provided there is at least one (1) of each of the drugs listed in subdivision (a)(1) of this section with the preferred designation on the preferred drug list or available without prior authorization.
(c) If a new formulation or medication approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use as a prescription for medication-assisted treatment becomes available after April 12, 2019, and is either more expensive or has not been shown to be more effective than the formulations and medications in subsection (a) of this section, then the healthcare insurer may require prior authorization of the new formulation or medication.
(d) A healthcare insurer utilizing a tiered drug formulary shall place on the lowest-cost benefit tier at least one (1) product for each of the following medications that is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration:
(e) For purposes of any limit a healthcare insurer imposes on the number of prescriptions for a patient, a prescription for medication-assisted treatment shall not be counted.
(f) This section does not affect the responsibility of a healthcare provider to comply with the standard of care for medication-assisted treatment, including without limitation the use of therapy in combination with medication.
(g) The Arkansas Medicaid Program shall have until January 1, 2020, to comply with this section.