Updates

April 28th, 2021

Buprenorphine Prescribing Update from Health and Human Services

After the false start about the buprenorphine waiver changes in January 2021, we are delighted to share good news: Health and Human Services announced significant updates to the Practice Guidelines for the Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder.

 

Here is our summary of these updates, as we best understand it:

  • Who does this apply to: Physicians (MDs and DOs), physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse midwives who have a state license and DEA number.

  • What changed:

    • The new exemption allows eligible practitioners to apply for a waiver and get an X number to treat up to 30 patients with buprenorphine WITHOUT having to do the 8 or 24 hour certification training. All practitioners need to do is submit a form to request a new waiver by following the instructions on this page.

      • If any of the above practitioners wish to prescribe buprenorphine to more than 30 patients, they need to complete the corresponding 8 or 24 hour trainings per the old system and meet certain conditions.

    • The exemption also allows practitioners to prescribe buprenorphine WITHOUT having to certify that they are able to provide counseling or other ancillary services, unless they intend to treat more than 30 patients.

  • When does it go into effect: Immediately, as of 4/28/2021.

  • The goal: Expand access to buprenorphine for opioid use disorder treatment!

  • What does it mean for me as a detailer: You can now encourage providers who only want to treat a small number of patients with buprenorphine to simply submit a waiver request to get started - a much lower lift than spending the weekend in online trainings!

Information from SAMHSA on the intricacies of these changes can be found here: https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/become-buprenorphine-waivered-practitioner.