AMA opposes buprenorphine limits

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 10, 2006

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Restrictions on the number of opioid-dependent patients one physician may treat with buprenorphine should be lifted, stated policy adopted at the American Medical Association Annual Meeting in Chicago last month.

The drug buprenorphine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in October 2002, but practices were limited to treating 30 patients on this drug at any one time. According to surveys by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, this rule has been one of the major impediments to using the treatment more widely. The practice limitation was scrapped last August, and legislation is now in the U.S. Senate that would eliminate this restriction for individual physicians.

"There's an enormous population out there that cannot obtain treatment," said Stuart Gitlow, MD, MPH, the delegate from the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

"I find it rather amazing that doctors can prescribe thousands of patients simultaneously something like OxyContin, but, then I try to treat those patients with something like buprenorphine, I can only treat 30 of them."

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn