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Factors Limiting Buprenorphine Prescriptions in Sacramento and El Dorado County
American Journal of Internal Medicine
Volume 7, Issue 3, May 2019, Pages: 66-71
Received: Apr. 8, 2019; Accepted: May 27, 2019; Published: Jun. 26, 2019
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Alana Freifeld, College of Medicine, California Northstate University, Elk Grove, USA
Neeraj Ramakrishnan, College of Medicine, California Northstate University, Elk Grove, USA
Jose Puglisi, College of Medicine, California Northstate University, Elk Grove, USA
Aimee Moulin, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California Davis, Sacramento, USA
Joshua Elder, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California Davis, Sacramento, USA
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Buprenorphine is an effective treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). Despite the demonstrated efficacy of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), few healthcare providers are licensed to prescribe Buprenorphine for OUD. The purpose of this study was to assess the attitudes and prescribing practices of providers licensed to treat patients Buprenorphine in two counties in Northern California. We aim to identify barriers to prescribing Buprenorphine for OUD. This is a descriptive study to understand provider practices, attitudes, and barriers towards Buprenorphine prescribing. Of the 95 x-waivered providers identified in Sacramento and El Dorado County, 36 (38%) responded to our phone survey. 12 (33%) were women, and the three most common specialties were Family Medicine 19 (53%), Addiction Medicine 8 (22%), and Psychiatry 8 (22%). Of the survey participants, 33 (92%) actively prescribe Buprenorphine. Self-motivation was cited as the most common reason to become x-waivered 29 (81%), while the least cited reason was an institutional requirement 3 (8%). The most common motivations for prescribing Buprenorphine included low overdose potential 30 (91%), drug efficacy 28 (85%), and low abuse potential 27 (82%). The greatest barriers to Buprenorphine prescribing included poor reimbursement 15 (46%), time constraints 13 (39%), and patient preference for opiates 11 (33%). Overall, most of the interviewed providers 30 (83%) believed Buprenorphine should be prescribed more frequently to manage addiction or pain. This study found that the majority of x-waivered providers in Sacramento and El Dorado Counties do prescribe Buprenorphine but not at their full capacity.
Buprenorphine, X-waiver, Opioid Epidemic, Addiction, Dependency
To cite this article
Alana Freifeld, Neeraj Ramakrishnan, Jose Puglisi, Aimee Moulin, Joshua Elder, Factors Limiting Buprenorphine Prescriptions in Sacramento and El Dorado County, American Journal of Internal Medicine. Vol. 7, No. 3, 2019, pp. 66-71. doi: 10.11648/j.ajim.20190703.13
Copyright © 2019 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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