About the forum: On Wednesday, June 18, 2014, Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) hosted a forum on opioid addiction and obstacles that have made it difficult for patients to have access to buprenorphine. ASAM member Dr. Corey Waller, ABAM Diplomate, spoke on behalf of ASAM about raising the 100-patient limit. According to DATA 2000 physicians who meet certain requirements can prescribe buprenorphine to a limited number of patients (30 total patients in the 1st year and 100 thereafter upon being approved for an expanded waiver). There was discussion at the Forum about raising the 100-patient limit, allowing nurse practitioners and physician assistants prescribe and understanding the reasons why waivered physicians are not prescribing.
ASAM’s take: ASAM is concerned that prescribing limits restrict patient access to treatment. ASAM recommends that the patient limits be lifted in a graduated, thoughtful approach that focuses on higher levels of training for non-addiction certified physicians who are interested in prescribing beyond the 100-patient limit.
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