Study examines use of emergency authorities to prescribe buprenorphine during COVID-19

A new study analyzed the use of emergency authorities to prescribe buprenorphine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers found that, among the 72% of clinicians who reported past 12-month buprenorphine prescribing, 33% reported remote prescribing to new patients without an in-person examination. As described in the study, the strongest predictors of remote buprenorphine prescribing to new patients were prescribing the medication to larger numbers of patients in an average month in the past year, closure of the practice setting during the pandemic, and previous experience with remote prescribing to established patients prior to COVID-19. The study suggests that permanent adoption of emergency authorities used during the pandemic may enable expanded access to buprenorphine.

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