Assessment of Filled Buprenorphine Prescriptions for Opioid Use Disorder During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic | Psychiatry | JAMA Internal Medicine | JAMA Network
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    Research Letter
    December 21, 2020

    Assessment of Filled Buprenorphine Prescriptions for Opioid Use Disorder During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

    Author Affiliations
    • 1Department of Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    • 2Department of Economics, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
    • 3Department of Economics, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
    • 4O’Neill School Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University Bloomington
    • 5Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
    • 6Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
    • 7RAND Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    JAMA Intern Med. Published online December 21, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.7497

    The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has profoundly disrupted health care delivery in the US.1 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted a 9.1% increase in reported 12-month counts of drug overdose deaths from March 2019 to March 2020, from 67 726 to 73 860.2 On March 13, 2020, a COVID-19 national emergency was declared. To diminish potential barriers to treatment access, 3 days later, federal guidelines on telemedicine use were released, providing authorized practitioners increased flexibility to prescribe buprenorphine to patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) during this public health emergency.3 Other local, state, and federal policy initiatives have also attempted to preserve access to medication treatment for OUD, yet the cumulative outcome of these undertakings is not clear.

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