Initiation rates and six-month retention rates for buprenorphine haven’t budged despite relaxed telehealth rules and prescriber training requirements.

Treating opioid addiction should be much easier now than it was a few years ago, thanks to pandemic-era rule changes that aim to improve access to buprenorphine, a medicine proven to help in recovery.

But a study shows the rate of people starting on buprenorphine remained flat from 2019 through 2022, while the percentage of patients who stayed on buprenorphine for at least six months hovered at just over 20% from 2016 through 2022.

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