Shatterproof comment on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announcement of new buprenorphine practice guidelines.  

Shatterproof applauds the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announcement of new buprenorphine practice guidelines.  The guidelines will exempt qualified medical professionals from federal certification requirements related to training, allowing them to treat up to 30 patients with buprenorphine. This new guidance will provide better access to evidence-based treatment and save more lives, especially as we see rates of substance use disorder and overdose deaths soar to the highest ever in this country. 

As the addiction epidemic has worsened, Shatterproof and its thousands of grassroots advocates have pressed for the removal of the buprenorphine waiver requirement. On April 14th, Shatterproof alongside 60 plus organizations advocating for equitable access to substance use disorder (SUD) treatments submitted a letter, to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra requesting the Administration take actions to reduce barriers to opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment associated with the DATA 2000 X-Waiver and to call upon Congress to eliminate the X-Waiver completely.

“We are pleased by this very important first step that will save lives during this surge of opioid-related overdose deaths. However, Congressional action is still needed to eliminate the X-Waiver permanently and to ensure comprehensive training on substance use disorder is required for all prescribers of controlled substances,” said Kevin Roy, Shatterproof’s Chief Policy Officer.

Shatterproof released a report on buprenorphine availability in 2020 that found that 39% of counties in the United States do not have access to this medication.  Patients often struggle to find physicians who are authorized to prescribe the medication. Less than 6% of providers in the U.S. have received the special waiver. Many prescribers do not pursue a waiver because of limited time, inadequate education about addiction medicine, or concern about OUD-related stigma. 

About Shatterproof:
Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in the United States. Shatterproof harnesses the models of business, the rigor of science and the power of a national movement to create change and save lives through three pillars of work: revolutionizing the addiction treatment system, breaking down addiction-related stigmas and supporting and empowering our communities. To learn more visit www.Shatterproof.org