- Press Release Distribution

State policies can boost use of anti-opioid medication

Requiring education for buprenorphine prescribers boosts use of treatment for opioid use disorder

( States that want to increase access to buprenorphine, a lifesaving medication used to treat opioid use disorder, should consider efforts to enhance professional education and clinician knowledge, according to a new RAND Corporation study.


Examining six state-level policies aimed at boosting use of buprenorphine, researchers found that requiring buprenorphine prescribers to receive additional education beyond the initially required instruction, as well as continuing medical education related to substance misuse, were both associated with a significant increase in use of the treatment.


The findings are published in the latest edition of the journal JAMA Health Forum.


“Many studies suggest that physicians and other health providers are apprehensive about whether they have sufficient knowledge about using buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorder,” said Bradley D. Stein, the study’s lead author and a physician scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “We found that requiring additional ongoing education seems to help address this worry, empowering them to make greater use of their training.”


The study analyzed the effects of six different state-level policies: rules requiring additional education for buprenorphine prescribers beyond the initial X-waiver training that had been required; continuing medical education related to substance misuse and addiction; extending Medicaid coverage to buprenorphine treatment; expanding Medicaid coverage generally; mandating prescriber use of prescription drug monitoring programs; and regulating pain management clinics.


The number of fatal opioid overdoses in the United States continues to soar and an estimated 5.6 million people in the nation have an opioid use disorder. Medication treatment for opioid use disorder is considered the standard of care, improving quality of life and decreasing fatal overdose rates.


The new study made use of records that capture 90% of prescriptions filled at U.S. retail pharmacies, identifying buprenorphine prescriptions filled between 2006 and 2018.  Researchers used a variety of sources to identify when states implemented any of the six policies being reviewed.


Researchers analyzed the records to identify new episodes of buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorder, comparing trends in the use of the medication to when states adopted the various policies. The results were compiled at the county level, controlling for local characteristics that may influence buprenorphine prescribing.


During the study period, the national use of buprenorphine rose sharply, the researchers found. The number of months of buprenorphine treatment per 1,000 people increased from 1.5 in 2006 to 22.8 in 2018.


The data showed that during this time, requiring education for buprenorphine prescribers beyond the initial training needed for a waiver was associated with significant increases in the number of months of buprenorphine treatment per person in the year following implementation of such a policy.


Under such rules, use of buprenorphine increased by about 9 treatment months per 1,000 people during the first year, rising to more than 14 months of treatment per 1,000 population in the fifth year following implementation.


Requiring continuing medical education related to substance misuse or addiction for physician licensure also was associated with increases. Under such rules, use of buprenorphine increased by about 7 treatment months per 1,000 people during the first year, rising to more than 11 months of treatment per 1,000 population in the fifth year.


The study found that prescription drug monitoring programs, pain management clinic laws and Medicaid policies had no association with buprenorphine dispensing.


“Our findings suggest that requiring education for buprenorphine prescribers and training in substance use disorder treatment for medical providers are actionable proposals for increasing buprenorphine utilization and ultimately serving more patients,” said Stein, who is director of the RAND-USC Schaeffer Opioid Policy Tools and Information Center. “The potential benefits of training on the treatment of patients with substance use disorders is particularly important given the requirement for such training for most prescribing clinicians in the recently passed federal Consolidated Appropriations Act.”


Support for the study was provided by the Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers P50DA046351, R01DA048500 and K01DA042139. The content presented in this release is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


Other authors of the study are Brendan K. Saloner of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Olivia K. Golan of the Georgia State University School of Public Health;  Barbara Andraka-Christou of University of Central Florida; Christina Andrews of the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health; Andrew W. Dick and Flora Sheng, both of the RAND Corporation; Corey S. Davis of the Network for Public Health Law; and Adam J. Gordon of the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System.


RAND Health Care promotes healthier societies by improving health care systems in the United States and other countries. 




Association of healthy lifestyle factors and obesity-related diseases in adults in the UK

About The Study: In this study of 438,000 UK Biobank participants, adherence to a healthy lifestyle was associated with reduced risk of a wide range of obesity-related diseases, but this association was modest in adults with obesity. The findings suggest that although a healthy lifestyle seems to be beneficial, it does not entirely offset the health risks associated with obesity.  Authors: Sebastien Czernichow, M.D., Ph.D., of the Hopital Europeen Georges Pompidou in Paris, is the corresponding author.  To access the embargoed study: Visit our For The Media website at this link (doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.14741) Editor’s ...

Effect of free medicine distribution on health care costs in Canada

About The Study: In this secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial of primary care patients in Ontario, Canada, eliminating out-of-pocket medication expenses for patients with cost-related nonadherence in primary care was associated with lower health care spending over three years. These findings suggest that eliminating out-of-pocket medication costs for patients could reduce overall costs of health care.  Authors: Nav Persaud, M.D., of the University of Toronto, is the corresponding author. To access ...

Kentucky, Michigan scientific researchers awarded $2 million to study new heart disease, stroke treatments

DALLAS, May 26, 2023 — A Lexington, Ky., research scientist studying ways to repair damaged major vessels with medication rather than surgery and a physician-scientist from Ann Arbor, Mich., exploring the mechanisms of how exercise can heal heart muscle and brain tissue following a heart attack or stroke are the most recent American Heart Association Merit Award recipients. Each researcher will receive $1 million in funding from the Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health and research. Alan Daugherty, Ph.D., D.Sc., FAHA, the associate vice president for research, ...

Scepticism about Microsoft results

Scepticism about Microsoft results
In March 2022, Microsoft published research results about the realisation of a special type of particle that might be used to make particularly robust quantum bits. Researchers at the University of Basel are now calling these results about so-called Majorana particles into doubt: through calculations they have shown that the findings can also be explained differently. In 1938 a genius suddenly vanished without a trace: after buying a ferry ticket from Palermo to Naples, the young Italian physicist Ettore Majorana seemingly ...

Yeast screen uncovers genes involved in chromosomal mutation

Yeast screen uncovers genes involved in chromosomal mutation
Osaka, Japan – When creating a computer program, errors in the code can introduce bugs to the software. Similarly, errors in our body’s genetic code, DNA, which is stored in structures known as chromosomes, can bring about mutations in the body. These mutations are the cause of many deadly diseases – including cancer. Now, researchers in Japan have shed new light on a particular type of genetic mutation: gross chromosomal rearrangement (GCR). In a new study published in Communications Biology, a multi-institutional team led by researchers from Osaka University analyzed fission yeast to identify two key genes involved in the process of GCR. The researchers ...

Forging a dream material with semiconductor quantum dots

Researchers from the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science and collaborators have succeeded in creating a “superlattice” of semiconductor quantum dots that can behave like a metal, potentially imparting exciting new properties to this popular class of materials. Semiconducting colloidal quantum dots have garnered tremendous research interest due to their special optical properties, which arise from the quantum confinement effect. They are used in solar cells, where they can improve the efficiency of energy conversion, biological imaging, where they can be used as fluorescent probes, electronic displays, and even quantum computing, where their ability to ...

Capturing non-transparent ultrafast scenes

Capturing non-transparent ultrafast scenes
A research team at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) led by Professor Roberto Morandotti reported the first realization of a single-shot ultrafast terahertz (THz) photography system. This important achievement published in Nature Communications will be able to provide both the spatial and temporal evolution of ultrashort dynamics with sub-picosecond resolution. In other terms, researchers will be now able to uncover the hidden laws of nature that govern the dynamics, which require imaging ...

Termite mounds reveal secret to creating ‘living and breathing’ buildings that use less energy

Termite mounds reveal secret to creating ‘living and breathing’ buildings that use less energy
Among the approximately 2,000 known species of termites, some are ecosystem engineers. The mounds built by some genera, for example Amitermes, Macrotermes, Nasutitermes, and Odontotermes, reach up to eight meters high, making them some of the world’s largest biological structures. Natural selection has been at work improving the ‘design’ of their mounds over tens of millions of years. What might human architects and engineers learn if they go to the termites and consider their ways? In a new study in Frontiers in Materials, researchers showed how termite mounds can teach us to create comfortable interior climates for our buildings that don’t ...

How eating natto might help to distress

How eating natto might help to distress
Health is wealth as the saying goes and new research now shows that it is possible to have a healthy, less stressed society through familiar and inexpensive foods. One such food might be the Japanese natto which is made from softened soybeans that have been boiled or steamed and fermented with a bacteria called Bacillus subtilis var. natto. Bacillus subtilis var. natto is found in soil, plants, animals, and the human stomach and intestines. Most of the natto consumed in Japan is made from the Miyagino strain. A research group led by Professor Eriko Kage-Nakadai at the Graduate School of Human Life ...

A celebration of artificial light sources

A celebration of artificial light sources
Did you know that until the early twentieth century, artificial light sources only served the purpose of illuminating our surroundings? Since then, significant changes have taken place. Light is now utilized in various ways beyond just space illumination. From semiconductor chip manufacturing to high-speed data communications, the increasing number of applications has led to the development of different kinds of light-producing devices. Some light sources even generate light through radioactive decays! If you have wondered how we managed to progress from a simple lightbulb to energy-efficient LEDs, put your doubts to rest now. Delve into From Edison to LEDs: The Science and ...


Federal Trade Commission actions on prescription drugs, 2000-2022

Fluoride exposure during pregnancy linked to increased risk of childhood neurobehavioral problems, study finds

The Ukraine war caused migrating eagles to deviate from their usual flight plan

Endangered migrating eagles impacted by Ukraine war

Study explores association between fluoride exposure in pregnancy and neurobehavioral issues in young children

Using magnetic resonance spectroscopy to design safer, higher-performance lithium batteries

Should your exercise goals be in minutes or steps? Study suggests they are equally beneficial

Racial and ethnic inequities in cancer care continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic among those with SARS-CoV-2

Effect of sleep restriction on adolescent cognition by adiposity

Webb Telescope offers first glimpse of an exoplanet’s interior

Alkyl-aromatic hybrid micelles formed from emergent umbrella-shaped molecules

First study from the African Ancestry Neuroscience Research Initiative identifies key genes in the brain that account for higher rates of some brain disorders in Black Americans

NIH awards Coast-to-Coast Consortium $5.6 million for All of Us Research Program

Ben-Gurion University scientist hunts for drug candidate to treat brain tumors

New Health Blueprint maps healthier future for rural, underserved Southwest Virginia

Survival benefit associated with participation in clinical trials of anticancer drugs

Expanding on the fundamental principles of liquid movement

Chemical Insights Research Institute partners with Duke University and the East-West Center to examine dust and ash from devastating Hawai’ian wildfires

NCCN publishes new resource for patients with intestinal cancer type most have never heard of before diagnosis

Subduction zone splay faults compound hazards of great earthquakes

Record low Antarctic sea ice ‘extremely unlikely’ without climate change

After hundreds of years, study confirms Bermuda now home to cownose rays

Scientists uncover promising treatment target for resistant brain cancer

Revolutionizing cancer treatment by intracellular protein delivery using hybrid nanotubes

Chemist Julian West makes C&EN magazine’s ‘Talented 12’ list

Robot-phobia could exasperate hotel, restaurant labor shortage

Study offers new detail on how COVID-19 affects the lungs

Body’s ‘message in a bottle’ delivers targeted cancer treatment

1 in 4 parents say their teen consumes caffeine daily or nearly every day

What makes some brown algae shimmer and others not?

[] State policies can boost use of anti-opioid medication
Requiring education for buprenorphine prescribers boosts use of treatment for opioid use disorder