On January 14th the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced new guidance to allow any physician with a DEA license to prescribe buprenorphine to patients for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). The guidance, Practice Guidelines for the Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder, would allow any physician with a DEA license to treat up to 30 in-state patients with buprenorphine. This guidance signaled a major change to previous policy, which required providers to complete a training and receive a waiver before being able to prescribe buprenorphine.
On January 27th the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released a statement that the announcement was made prematurely and the guidelines would not be issued at this time. California is following updates from federal partners on this issue, and will provide an update on the final policy once this information becomes available.