Nurse practitioners and physician assistants will now be eligible to prescribe and dispense the opioid addiction treatment buprenorphine from their office, Reuters reports.
The Drug Enforcement Administration said the change will make it easier for residents of underserved areas to receive treatment for opioid addiction.
The new rule is a result of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), passed in 2016.
The law expanded access to substance use treatment services and overdose reversal medications by extending the privilege of prescribing buprenorphine in office-based settings to qualifying nurse practitioners and physician assistants. CARA requires that nurse practitioners and physician assistants complete 24 hours of training to be eligible to prescribe buprenorphine.
“This action reflects this work and the ongoing need to further expand access to the most effective treatment for opioid use disorder,” David Fiellin, Professor of Medicine, Emergency Medicine and Public Health at Yale School of Medicine, told Reuters.