The following statement is attributable to:
Bobby Mukkamala, MD
Chair, AMA Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force

“The American Medical Association (AMA) applauds the final rule (PDF) by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that allows buprenorphine to be prescribed to patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) based on telehealth visits on a permanent basis. The AMA also applauds the final rule allowing increased access to methadone treatment for patients with OUD who are starting or continuing methadone in an Opioid Treatment Program (OTP). 

“Cementing these policies is a step in the right direction in the fight against the worsening overdose epidemic to increase equitable access to care, reduce stigma of seeking treatment for OUD, and embrace technology in medicine. Prescribing buprenorphine through telehealth visits provides the opportunity to reach remote and underserved communities and patients who may be unable to travel daily to in-person appointments because of distance to the OTP, cost, childcare, employment and other factors. 

Whether audio-only, video visits, or in-person appointments, physicians provide high-quality, evidence-based care for OUD, including prescribing medication that can save lives. Modernizing rules and regulations for prescribing these medications continues to be of paramount importance. The AMA deeply appreciates the work by HHS, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to finalize this rule.”

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About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.