American Society of Addiction Medicine comments on DEA implementation of SUPPORT Act


The American Society of Addiction Medicine recommended that the Drug Enforcement Administration change its rules on implantable and injectable buprenorphine as part of its comments on the SUPPORT Act of 2018.

The ASAM commented on the Interim Final Rule on the implementation of the Substance Use-disorder Prevention That Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act: Dispensing and Administering Controlled Substance for Medication-Assisted Treatment on Monday.

The association’s letter recommended that the DEA change several policies to expand healthcare providers’ ability to deliver injectable and implantable buprenorphine to those with substance use disorder.

“The Interim Final Rule implements, among other policies, Sec. 3204 of the SUPPORT Act, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to set forth the conditions under which a pharmacy may deliver a controlled substance to an administering practitioner. The intent of this section was to expand access to long-acting injectable/implantable (“LAI”) buprenorphine products by creating an alternative to the “buy and bill” delivery system for these products,” the organization said in its letter.

ASAM recommended the DEA increase the number of days a health care practitioner can administer LAI buprenorphine after receipt of the medication, as well as allow practitioners who are not DATA-waived to administer the drug provided the patient has a lawful prescription for the drug by a DATA-waived practitioner.

Additionally, the ASAM recommended that the DEA should treat pharmacists as practitioners who may administer injectable buprenorphine, as authorized by state law, but not the implantable version of the drug.

“Taken together, this change and these clarifications can help maximize access to LAI buprenorphine products, particularly for patients in rural areas who may lack access to reliable transportation, and those being treated via telemedicine during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency,” the ASAM said.