Our nation continues to grapple with the impact of the opioid abuse and misuse epidemic. As a member of the interprofessional healthcare team, pharmacists use pain management plans to ensure that patients’ pain is appropriately managed, work with other providers to select the best possible therapies, monitor those therapies, educate the patient and other members of the team, and help identify the signs of addiction.
Despite their clinical expertise, pharmacists are not eligible for an X-waiver. The X-waiver is a prerequisite to prescribing and dispensing buprenorphine for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) of opioid addiction. Pharmacists being ineligible to provide MAT prevents them from fully leveraging their clinical expertise to fight the opioid epidemic.
How to Protect Patients – ASHP is Working to:
Urge policymakers to reduce barriers to medications for opioid use disorder and improve opioid stewardship by
- Leveraging pharmacists as X-waivered providers.
- Urging Congress to pass the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act of 2021 (H.R. 1384, S.445), which eliminates X-waivers and will increase the number of providers who can prescribe MAT.