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Physicians Want To Prescribe Buprenorphine but Are Limited

Buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid use disorder, has been limited by regulations and arbitrary rules that significantly hinder the drug’s widespread acceptance. Traditionally, physicians do not have to be specifically certified to prescribe medications and are not limited in the number of patients they can treat with a particular treatment. Yet, any physician who wishes to prescribe buprenorphine has to obtain a special registration. To qualify for registration, the physician must have a specialty certification or complete eight hours of training and, upon receiving the registration, is limited to treating up to 30 patients at any given time within the first year of receiving the registration and up to 275 thereafter. Such rules handcuff the few physicians who can prescribe buprenorphine. Due to these caps, some stable patients may be forced out of buprenorphine treatment prematurely to make room for a new patient with a more urgent need. Read the full story here.

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