Pain Tx in the News
Government lifts waiting period for unsupervised buprenorphine use
January 8, 2013
Opioid treatment programs gain greater flexibility in dispensing take-home supplies of buprenorphine.
Opioid treatment programs (OTPs) no longer have to wait until patients have been in treatment for a year before dispensing a 2-week supply of buprenorphine, according to a recently released amendment to federal opioid treatment regulations. Opioid treatment programs are still required, however, to assess and document whether a patient is responsible and stable enough to receive opioid addiction treatment medication.
Notice of the regulation change was published in the December 6, 2012, issue of
by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The final rule, as it is called in
The Federal Register
, notes that requiring a waiting period imposes a burden on patients and may affect their adherence to treatment. The new rule, which took effect January 7, 2013, gives OTPs greater discretion in matching patient needs with addiction treatment approaches.
Many patients in treatment should now be able to report to their OTP less frequently while still benefitting from the facility’s counseling, medical, recovery, and other services. HHS believes that the benefits of increased flexibility and greater access to care in OTP settings outweigh the potential risk of additional diversion and abuse that might be associated with removing the wait-time restrictions for buprenorphine.
1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Opioid drugs in maintenance and detoxification treatment of opiate addiction; proposed modification of dispensing restrictions for buprenorphine and buprenorphine combination as used in approved opioid treatment medications. Final rule.
. Dec 6, 2012;77(235):72752-72761.
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