The federal government will offer waivers to nurse practitioners and physicians assistants to write prescriptions for drugs that curb addiction to opioids.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin was one of the lawmakers who spoke out last year in favor of letting health care providers other than doctors prescribe buprenorphine – a drug that substitutes for opioids and curbs addiction.
Dr. Harry Chen the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health says in a rural state like Vermont there aren't enough doctors to prescribe the drug to those in need. He says it’s important to allow other medical professionals to prescribe the treatment.
“To have another additional workforce that can take the training, that can prescribe that evidence based treatment for opioid use disorder is really beneficial” says Chen.
The waivers will require a 24 hour training and will take effect in February.