In 2017, 47,600 Americans died from opioid-related overdoses. These deaths were attributable largely to fentanyl and heroin, which were involved in 28,400 and 15,482 deaths, respectively.1

The standard of care for opioid use disorder (OUD) requires practitioners to offer medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when medically appropriate.2 The FDA has approved three medications for the treatment of OUD: buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone.3

The federal government has prioritized increasing the number of practitioners who provide office-based opioid treatment (OBOT) using FDA-approved medications.4 Practitioners authorized to prescribe buprenorphine for OUD have cited the following reasons, among others, for their reluctance to provide OBOT:

  • Inadequate training to support confidence in prescribing;
  • Burdensome regulatory requirements; and
  • Increasing regulatory and law enforcement scrutiny of practitioners who do provide such treatment.5

The Prescriber Safety Initiative responds to these concerns. We equip practitioners to feel confident treating patients with OUD and other medical conditions that require controlled medications.

In addition to providing practitioner-led education on the medical standard of care and best practices, we provide training and technical assistance in regulatory and recordkeeping compliance to prescribers and their staffs so they can withstand increasing scrutiny.

The Prescriber Safety Initiative aims to help professionals be safe and feel safe while prescribing controlled medications.

Timeline

2000

Drug Addiction Treatment Act (DATA 2000, 21 U.S.C. § 823) enacted

2002

Buprenorphine is approved by the FDA for OUD treatment

2011

CDC declares prescription drug abuse epidemic

2017

DOJ establishes Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit

2018

DOJ forms Prescription Interdiction and Litigation Task Force

2018

DOJ Creates Prescription Opioid Strike Force

2019

Prescription Opioid Strike Force Expands

2019

Prescriber Safety Initiative launches

*National Center on Health Statistics, CDC Wonder.