While we all gently weep –
Jan. 16, 2021 – On Thursday, HHS officials did just that: physicians are no longer required to have a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine — just a DEA registration that nearly every doctor in the country already needs to prescribe drugs.
“The medical evidence is clear: access to medication-assisted treatment, including buprenorphine that can be prescribed in office-based settings, is the gold standard for treating individuals suffering from opioid use disorder,” Adm. Brett P. Giroir, assistant secretary for health, said in a news release. “Removing some of the certification requirements for an X-waiver for physicians is a step toward providing more people struggling with this chronic disease access to medication assisted treatment.”
Some restrictions remain around prescribing buprenorphine. Physicians without x-waivers can only treat patients in their own state, and the new directives are limited to doctors; nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants still need an x-waiver to prescribe the drug.