Coalition Including AAPA Sends Buprenorphine Letter to State Regulators

Last year, Congress passed legislation which allows PAs and NPs to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid addiction. AAPA has partnered with the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) to ensure PAs and NPs are aware of the requirements under the new federal law and have the resources necessary to complete the required training and receive a buprenorphine waiver.

On Oct. 13, AAPA, ASAM, and AANP sent a joint letter to state regulatory boards, signed by the organizations’ presidents, asking the boards to offer guidance to licensees on the requirements for obtaining a buprenorphine waiver.  The letter also urges states to avoid taking any actions which may limit the ability of PAs and NPs to seek these waivers.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has interpreted the new federal law to allow qualifying PAs and NPs who practice with an eligible, but unwaived, physician, to be waived to prescribe buprenorphine. The joint letter supports this interpretation and requests state regulators to follow this interpretation.

AAPA, ASAM, and AANP collectively represent over 350,000 clinicians, and are dedicated to increasing access and improving the quality of addiction treatment for patients across the country. To date, more than 660 PAs have completed the required training and received a buprenorphine waiver. AAPA and the Society of PAs in Addiction Medicine will continue to work with state regulators to increase the number of PAs who may prescribe this lifesaving treatment. For more information, contact Erika Miller, director, constituent organization outreach and advocacy.