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Posted on: March 15, 2023

Health Advisory: Waiver and patient limits removed to increase buprenorphine access

Health Advisory: Waiver and patient limits removed to increase buprenorphine access 

March 15, 2023

Action Requested

  • Be aware that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) have eliminated the requirement for providers to have a DATA 2000 (X) waiver to prescribe buprenorphine containing medication products for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). SAMHSA also removed the limit on the number of patients a provider can prescribe buprenorphine medications to. 
  • Consider buprenorphine as a medication to effectively treat OUD in patients. This medication works to: 
    • Manage craving and withdrawal
    • Reduce illicit opioid use
    • Decrease the risk of having an overdose
  • If you have a current DEA registration number that includes Schedule III authority, effective immediately you may now prescribe buprenorphine formulations for opioid use disorder, with no limitations on the number of patients you may treat for OUD at a time with buprenorphine. 
    • There are no medication-specific training requirements at this time. 
    • With this provision, waiver applications from SAMHSA are no longer needed.

Background

On December 29, 2022, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) eliminated the requirement for providers to have a DATA 2000 (X) waiver to prescribe buprenorphine containing medication products for the treatment of opioid use disorder. SAMHSA has additionally removed the limit on the number of patients a provider can prescribe buprenorphine medications to. The goal of this is to reduce prescribing barriers for providers and increase access to life saving medication assisted treatment with buprenorphine for people seeking treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD).

Resources

If you have not prescribed buprenorphine or Suboxone® (buprenorphine/naloxone) and would like additional education, there are many resources available to support safe and effective treatment of opioid use disorder.

More information

This health advisory adapted from the Washington State Department of Health. 

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