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HHS Announces New Measures to Expand Access to Buprenorphine

Date: July 6, 2016
Source: HHS

U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell today announced several new actions the department is taking to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic. 

The actions include expanding access to buprenorphine, a medication to treat opioid use disorder, a proposal to eliminate any potential financial incentive for doctors to prescribe opioids based on patient experience survey questions, and a requirement for Indian Health Service prescribers and pharmacists to check state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) databases before prescribing or dispensing opioids for pain. In addition, the department is launching more than a dozen new scientific studies on opioid misuse and pain treatment and soliciting feedback to improve and expand prescriber education and training programs.

Buprenorphine Final Rule

Expanding access to MAT is one of the three foundational priorities of the HHS Opioid Initiative, and buprenorphine is one of the drugs frequently used for MAT.  The rule finalized today by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) allows practitioners who have had a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for up to 100 patients for a year or more, to now obtain a waiver to treat up to 275 patients.  Practitioners are eligible to obtain the waiver if they have additional credentialing in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry from a specialty medical board and/or professional society, or practice in a qualified setting as described in the rule.

To read the entire release and obtain additional information, click here. Then follow the links in the press release.

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