A drug trumpeted as a major advance in opiate addiction treatment is
garnering a tepid response from physicians, despite its status as the first
such treatment available outside licensed drug treatment clinics. Bureaucratic
hurdles, lack of clinical guidelines, and unfamiliarity with addiction have
all hampered physician adoption of the drug, buprenorphine.
While less strictly regulated than methadone, buprenorphine can be prescribed
only by physicians who complete an eight-hour course and register with the
Department of Health and Human Services and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Vastag B. In-Office Opiate Treatment "Not a Panacea". JAMA. 2003;290(6):731-735. doi:10.1001/jama.290.6.731