Bupe Limit: 275

We needed the good news that the federal bureaucracy has almost tripled the number of patients a physician can treat with buprenorphine, saving lives in underserved areas, but limiting this drug compared to others only reflects irrational bias against those suffering from addiction.

While federal law allows physicians to prescribe full agonist opiates like oxycodone to unlimited numbers of patients with little fear of scrutiny and no requirement of special education, it discourages prescribing of arguably safer buprenorphine (and not so safe methadone). This arises from the outmoded law forbidding prescribing of such drugs to addicts, based only on ignorance and prejudice.

Let us recognize that removing the limits and encouraging prescribing of buprenorphine, for pain as well as for addiction, will have an overall positive effect until we can find a cure for the latter. Your primary care physician should prescribe it for you, but I doubt they will want to jump through the necessary hoops until we stop treating addiction like a weakness or moral failure.

 

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