Tennessee Nurse Practitioner Association

Buprenorphine

Posted 7 months ago by Irene Bean

Did you know that TN is the only state which does not allow NPs or PAs to prescribe Buprenorphine?
 
Do you recall SB2095? This bill allows nurse practitioners and physician assistants to prescribe buprenorphine if certain conditions are met. This bill authorizes nurse practitioners or physician assistants who have been licensed and practicing in this state for at least three years in a family, adult, or psychiatric setting to prescribe buprenorphine if such provider:
 
(1) Has not had limitations or conditions imposed on the provider's license within the prior three years by the board of nursing or the committee on physician assistants;
 
(2) Is employed by a federally qualified health center (FQHC) that employs at least one physician, where the provider is supervised by a physician authorized to prescribe buprenorphine;
 
(3) Obtains a waiver registration from the federal drug enforcement agency that authorizes the provider to prescribe buprenorphine products under federal law; and
 
(4) Prescribes only to patients who are treated at the FQHC that employs the provider.
 
As you may recall, a committee was formed to examine the potential impact of authorizing advance practice nurses and physician assistants in this state to prescribe buprenorphine-containing products for the treatment of opioid use disorder and any potentially appropriate clinical settings for any such prescribing authority. The
 
The committee was supposed to present their findings to the commissioner of mental health and substance abuse services, the commissioner of health, the health committee of the house of representatives, and the health and welfare committee of the Senate, no later than February 1, 2019.
 
What does this mean? This means that I am requesting for each of you to reach out to your legislator and the Governor to assist us in removing this barrier. We cannot provide adequate addiction treatment without the proper tools. There are many NPs in the rural areas who may be the difference between life and death for a patient who is addicted to opioids. It is imperative for you to rally with us to move this bill forward and allow TN NPs and PAs to write for Buprenorphine, a drug which treats opioid addiction.
 
Irene Bean