The Drug Enforcement Administration yesterday published a final rule implementing a 2016 law allowing nurse practitioners and physician assistants who meet certain requirements to prescribe and dispense drugs for the treatment of opioid use disorder, including for maintenance, detoxification, overdose reversal and relapse prevention. Previously only physicians could qualify to provide this medication-assisted treatment. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 expanded the category of eligible providers to include nurse practitioners and physician assistants until October 2021 to increase access for people in underserved areas. To qualify, nurse practitioners and physician assistants must be licensed under state law to prescribe certain controlled substances and complete at least 24 hours of initial training. If state law requires, they also must be supervised by or work in collaboration with a qualified physician.

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