The Department of Health and Human Services today issued a proposed rule that would double the number of patients a qualified physician may treat with buprenorphine. The controlled substance is one of three drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for medication-assisted treatment of opioid dependence. According to an HHS factsheet, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration rule would allow qualified practitioners to request approval to treat up to 200 patients a year if they have maintained an active waiver to treat up to 100 patients for a year and have subspecialty board certification in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry, or practice in a qualified practice setting as defined in the rule. In addition, they would have to reaffirm their eligibility every three years; attest that they will adhere to evidence-based treatment guidelines; and provide or connect patients to necessary behavioral health services; among other conditions. The rule also would allow practitioners with a 100-patient limit to request to serve up to 200 patients for up to six months in an emergency.