Among the bills appropriations bills signed by President Joe Biden on Dec. 29 was legislation to officially eliminate the X-waiver for physicians and other providers who treat patients with substance use disorder. That means any member of the care team with a Drug Enforcement Agency registration that includes Schedule III medications may now prescribe buprenorphine.
As a result, buprenorphine prescriptions for SUD now only require a DEA number; SAMHSA has stopped accepting X-waiver applications; and prescribers are no longer capped on the number of patients they can prescribe buprenorphine for.
“DEA fully supports this significant policy reform,” the agency said in a statement. “… At DEA, our goal is simple: we want medication for opioid use disorder to be readily and safely available to anyone in the country who needs it. The elimination of the X-Waiver will increase access to buprenorphine for those in need.”