HHS announce elimination of x-waiver requirement for DEA-registered physicians
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced that it will publish Practice Guidelines for the Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder, in order to expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT). As described by HHS, the guidelines will eliminate the requirement that physicians with a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration number apply for a separate waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment. Physicians utilizing the exemption will be limited to treating no more than 30 patients at any one time and applies only to buprenorphine. The announcement was prompted by recent provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that highlights an increase in overdose deaths, resulting in a demand for more accessible treatment services like MAT.