On Friday, July 22, President Obama
signed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016
(CARA). Following on federal, state and local trends, CARA seeks to expand access for persons needing opioid treatment.
One of CARA's more significant provisions expands buprenorphine
prescribing privileges to nurse practitioners and physician assistants who meet certain specified education and training requirements to prescribe to treat opiate addiction. Currently, buprenorphine may be prescribed, administered or dispensed for addiction treatment only by a practitioner who meets the definition of a "qualifying physician" as set forth in the Controlled Substances Act
and who has applied for and obtained from the Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA) a waiver with an assigned unique identification number (X-waiver).
CARA requires that the US Department of Health and Human Services
(HHS) update regulations regarding buprenorphine prescribers within 18 months from the date of its enactment to include nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
The statutory expansion of buprenorphine prescribing limits follows on a significant regulatory expansion announced earlier this month. On July 8, 2016... Read More