White House celebrates end of X-Waiver requirement
A White House ceremony marked the end of the “X-waiver” requirement.
Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, applauded the elimination of the certification on Twitter, stating, "Thank you to all of the advocates who came to the White House today to mark the removal of a barrier to addiction treatment that has kept recovery out of reach for too many Americans for too long. With the X-waiver now gone, we will save more lives."
[Read more: NACDS: Americans expect pharmacy access to continue]
The NACDS-backed move comes out of the inclusion of the bipartisan Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act in the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Act, which included the abolishment of the X-waiver.
Importantly, NACDS shared that the law change removes the federal requirement for practitioners to have a DATA-Waiver registration (a.k.a. an “X-waiver”) to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder.
Notably, the removal of the X-waiver eliminates the statutory caps on the number of patients that a qualifying practitioner can treat — as long as the prescriber otherwise has a standard DEA registration. This change increases patients’ access to medication-assisted treatment. It also simplifies for pharmacies the administrative processes around filling what are now X-waiver prescriptions, the organization said.
NACDS noted that pharmacists and pharmacy teams have a critical role to play in curbing prescription opioid misuse and abuse — and the organization continues to advocate for policies that would enhance Americans’ access to mental health and substance abuse treatment. Removing the X-waiver will help pave the way for enhanced access to MAT services for patients who struggle with opioid addiction.
[Read more: NACDS report highlights role local pharmacies, pharmacists play in patient-centered services]
The December measure also included the bipartisan, NACDS-backed INFORM Consumers Act, which requires online platforms that allow for third-party sellers of consumer products to verify the identity of high-volume third-party sellers to help prevent organized retail crime.