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Pharmacist Verification of Buprenorphine Providers

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Section 1262 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 removes the federal requirement for practitioners to have an “X” waiver to prescribe buprenorphine. All practitioners who have a current DEA registration that includes Schedule III authority, may now prescribe buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder in their practice if permitted by applicable state law.

Until further notice, states requiring practitioners to have waivers can use this Buprenorphine lookup form to confirm that SAMHSA certified the practitioner prior to the elimination of the X-waiver.

Pharmacy Resources for Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine products approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as medications for substance use disorders to treat OUD are available in pharmacies throughout the United States. 

Pharmacists and pharmacies are not required to have any credentials for dispensing these medications beyond those for other Schedule III medications. Certain federal laws and regulations, however, do affect pharmacy practice with regard to OUD treatment prescriptions.

Efforts to Identify and Address Challenges Affecting Buprenorphine Access

In August 2022, SAMHSA convened a Policy Priority Roundtable with pharmacy organizations, state health departments, nonprofit associations, academic institutions, and people with lived experiences. where pharmacy organizations called for an opportunity to engage directly with federal agencies about challenges affecting buprenorphine supply.

Read the Policy Priority Roundtable Summary Report (PDF | 405 KB).

SAMHSA joined other federal partners to jointly host a town hall where participants, including pharmacy organizations involved in buprenorphine distribution, discussed challenges and solutions to increase access to this life-saving medication. Suggestions included ensuring consistent and clear messaging around the importance of increasing pharmacy access and expanding where buprenorphine can be dispensed, such as community behavioral health centers, federally qualified health centers, and other community providers.

Read the Virtual Town Hall Report (PDF | 240 KB).

SAMHSA continues to encourage pharmacies, manufacturers, and trade organizations to work together to expand access to buprenorphine in pharmacies. Expanding access to buprenorphine is an important part of the HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy. Now in its third year, the strategy supports a broad harm reduction approach to substance use treatment, which involves meeting people where they are without judgment or stigma.

Learn more about the HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy.

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