The following statement is attributable to:

Patrice Harris, M.D., M.A.

Chair, AMA Opioid Task Force

Immediate Past President, American Medical Association

“The AMA is pleased that HHS will support physicians to prescribe buprenorphine by removing daunting regulatory barriers and easing stigma facing patients with opioid use disorder.

“Patients are struggling to find physicians who are authorized to prescribe buprenorphine; onerous regulations discourage physicians from being certified to prescribe it.

“With this change, office-based physicians and physician-led teams working with patients to manage their other medical conditions can also treat them for their opioid use disorder without being subjected to separate, burdensome and stigmatizing requirements. Physicians should become educated about managing patients with opioid use disorder to help stem the nationwide overdose epidemic and ease the persistent health disparities facing these patients.

“Treatment with buprenorphine allows patients with opioid use disorder to lead satisfying, productive lives. The policy announced today is a critically important step in making that happen.

"Going forward, the AMA is supporting legislation to remove the waiver requirements altogether and will advocate for that in Congress.”

The AMA urged HHS to change the regulations last year to reduce the epidemic of drug-related overdose and death.

Media Contact:

Jack Deutsch

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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.