New federal guidelines released this week will allow many more health care providers to prescribe the opioid addiction medication buprenorphine, the Associated Press reports.
The new guidelines increase the types of health care workers who can prescribe buprenorphine, and remove training requirements for practitioners prescribing the medication to fewer than 30 patients.
Under the new rules, doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, certified nurse midwives and some other types of nurses will be allowed to prescribe buprenorphine without first receiving special training. Health care providers will require additional training and federal waivers if they plan to treat more than 30 patients with the medication.
“What it does is provide more on-ramps to treatment,” said Brendan Saloner, an addiction researcher at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “This will help in health centers, hospitals, jails and prisons — places where these folks sometimes show up for treatment.”