In an opinion piece published by The Hill, Dr. Benjamin Nordstrom, an addiction psychiatrist and chief medical officer at Behavior Health Group, analyzed the preliminary outcomes of deregulating the prescribing of buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). Prior buprenorphine-prescribing regulations “were never identified as significant obstacles to patient getting care.” Despite the recent elimination of buprenorphine restrictions, actual prescribing of buprenorphine has not changed. Congress is now considering deregulating another medication for OUD, methadone, a Schedule II controlled substance. The proposed bill would likely have no meaningful impact on the number of people getting treatment, but access to methadone outside of opioid treatment programs would endanger lives.
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