Racial and economic disparities in buprenorphine access

by Kelley Kaufmann, APRN-CNP, PMHNP-BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Center for Health Equity Engagement Education and Research

Buprenorphine is an evidence based, effective treatment for opioid use disorders.  Physicians and Nurse Practitioners who have received training in medication assisted treatment (MAT) and have obtained their DEA- X waiver, may prescribe Buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorders.  Given the current opioid crisis, access to treatment should be widely available to all those in need of it.  However, a recent research letter published in JAMA Psychiatry asserts that “Buprenorphine treatment may be more available to individuals who are white, use self-pay, or have private insurance.”  This finding was from nationally representative data.

To read the JAMA research letter, click here.