Nurse Practitioner's prescribing buprenorphine

  1. Unfortunately the AANP wasn't even present during the DATA 2000 act that allowed only MD's to prescribe buprenorphine (nevermind NP's and PA's can prescribe potent opiates they can become addicted to). Due to the absence of NP's at that legislation, they were left out of the act altogether--even allowing the AMA to refer to NP's as "paraprofessionals" unanswered (paraprofessional=uneducated assistant of a professional).

    Subsequent efforts for legislation have failed, and something like 80% of providers who have the ability, still don't prescribe buprenorphine for addiction. They want this epidemic treated, but the AMA's got them by the toes and meanwhile, patients aren't being treated for the safest treatment for opiate addiction since abstinence. Since my specialty is addiction, I'm interested in any way to get legislation revisited, using the statistics of other countries (and our own failure to adequately treat the heroin epidemic). Even states like Maine have requested other providers be allowed to help, but the response was nothing but crickets. I'm currently in school (with the goal of opening an addictions treatment clinic). It looks like I'll be required to have a physician, if I want to treat them adequately (I was hoping for an all NP practice, like many have been emerging lately).

    There used to be a lot of internet chatter about this topic, but it faded off more recently. I'm interested in continuing to bark, until legislation is changed allowing NP's to treat opiate addiction with buprenorphine monotherapy and duotherapy. It WILL eventually happen, (just as NP's will continue increasing in numbers in acute settings despite AMA protests). It's just a matter of when. It would be nice if the when was sooner (to save more lives). France has impressive statistics, even with diverted drugs saving lives. Fascinating to see how we're just catching up to other countries as far as health care (since we're not even in the top couple dozen for neither health care, or life expectancy).
    Last edit by CASTLEGATES on May 8, '15
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  3. by   fivefeet05NP2B
    I completely agree with your post. All of the political agendas of the AMA and legislators are becoming a barrier to the people who would benefit the most; the patients .
  4. by   scottaprn
    Last congressional session the TREAT act was introduced in the U.S. Senate. It had only 5 democratic sponsors. It would have allowed NPs, PAs to prescribe for addiction. It also would remove the first year cap on MDs of 30 patients.

    With the Republican take over there are still several people in key places who are interested in the idea. Orrin Hatch has spoken highly of similar legislation in the past. Rand Paul has an open mind to it (and sits on the appropriate committee to get the legislation to the floor) and Rob Portman is someone else who should be lobbied. There is also a strong philosophical argument to be made to remove regulations among representatives in both houses who are strongly conservative.

    If if anyone wants info about their legislator and how to lobby them shoot me a PM. I a, very passionate about this issue.