Supply of buprenorphine waivered physicians: The influence of state policies

Bradley D. Stein, Adam J. Gordon, Andrew W. Dick, Rachel M. Burns, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Carrie M. Farmer, Douglas L. Leslie, Mark Sorbero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Buprenorphine, an effective opioid use disorder treatment, can be prescribed only by buprenorphine-waivered physicians. We calculated the number of buprenorphine-waivered physicians/100,000 county residents using 2008-11 Buprenorphine Waiver Notification System data, and used multivariate regression models to predict number of buprenorphine-waivered physicians/100,000 residents in a county as a function of county characteristics, state policies and efforts to promote buprenorphine use. In 2011, 43% of US counties had no buprenorphine-waivered physicians and 7% had 20 or more waivered physicians. Medicaid funding, opioid overdose deaths, and specific state guidance for office-based buprenorphine use were associated with more buprenorphine-waivered physicians, while encouraging methadone programs to promote buprenorphine use had no impact. Our findings provide important empirical information to individuals seeking to identify effective approaches to increase the number of physicians able to prescribe buprenorphine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-111
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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