Buprenorphine is currently the only medication approved for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) that can be prescribed in primary care settings and dispensed at retail pharmacies. However, nearly 80% of people with OUD still go without treatment, and racial disparities persist in OUD treatment and recovery. In an editorial published in the JAMA Health ForumDima M. Qato, PharmD, PhD, MPH, Hygeia Centennial Chair at the USC School of Pharmacy, and her colleagues discuss how current policies cause barriers to treatment and propose solutions.

Qato, who is also director of the Program on Medicines and Public Health at USC School of Pharmacy, asserts that the rationale for the proposed changes is that existing regulations controlling buprenorphine dispersement are designed to prevent the abuse of controlled substances and were not intended for scheduled medications for OUD.

To read the editorial, click here.