New DEA Buprenorphine Guidance
April 1, 2020
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) late yesterday issued guidance to DEA-registered physicians providing new flexibility for physicians managing patients with opioid use disorder. The new guidance permits physicians and other health professionals with a waiver allowing them to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder to issue these prescriptions to new and existing patients based on an evaluation via telephone. The new policy is effective from March 31 for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.
This guidance removes a considerable barrier for many patients during the national emergency and, importantly, allows them to stay at home. The full guidance is available at: https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/dea-samhsa-buprenorphine-telemedicine.pdf.
The AMA commends the DEA for its new policy and is continuing to advocate for greater access to treatment for patients with opioid use disorder.