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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2008 Jun;34(4):456-9. Epub 2007 Jul 30.

Nurse practitioner and physician assistant interest in prescribing buprenorphine.

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Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10467, USA.


Office-based buprenorphine places health care providers in a unique position to combine HIV and drug treatment in the primary care setting. However, federal legislation restricts nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) from prescribing buprenorphine, which may limit its potential for uptake and inhibit the role of these nonphysician providers in delivering drug addiction treatment to patients with HIV. This study aimed to examine the level of interest in prescribing buprenorphine among nonphysician providers. We anonymously surveyed providers attending HIV educational conferences in six large U.S. cities about their interest in prescribing buprenorphine. Overall, 48.6% (n = 92) of nonphysician providers were interested in prescribing buprenorphine. Compared to infectious disease specialists, nonphysician providers (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.89, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.22-6.83) and generalist physicians (AOR = 2.04, 95% CI = 1.09-3.84) were significantly more likely to be interested in prescribing buprenorphine. NPs and PAs are interested in prescribing buprenorphine. To improve uptake of buprenorphine in HIV settings, the implications of permitting nonphysician providers to prescribe buprenorphine should be further explored.

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