WASHINGTON – Today, the Biden administration announced that it is removing some requirements that limited health care providers’ ability to prescribe buprenorphine, a critical medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorder. Senator Hassan has led the bipartisan push in Congress to eliminate a waiver for prescribing buprenorphine. Today’s announcement removes some of the most burdensome requirements associated with getting the waiver.
“As Granite Staters and Americans across the country struggle with substance use disorder, they need access to evidence-based medication-assisted treatment that we know can save lives,” said Senator Hassan. “It never made any sense that the law made it harder to prescribe the treatment than it did to prescribe opioids. For too long, these burdensome requirements have prevented Americans from getting the treatment that they need. Today’s announcement is a step forward in removing some of the barriers in accessing medication-assisted treatment, and I will continue working on a bipartisan basis to expand access to this life-saving treatment.”
Senator Hassan has led bipartisan efforts urging the Biden administration to vastly increase access to buprenorphine by eliminating a bureaucratic hurdle—colloquially known as the “x-waiver”— blocking millions of highly trained health professionals from prescribing buprenorphine to their patients. Senator Hassan also pressed this issue with Health and Human Services Secretary Becerra during his confirmation hearing. Today’s announcement removes some of the certification and training requirements for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse midwives. Senator Hassan has also introduced bipartisan legislation that would eliminate the x-waiver, and is continuing to push for the passage of this important bill.