By Staff Writer
The prescription medication Suboxone has proven to be a powerful tool in helping rehab programs fight opiate addiction. However, limits on the number of patients doctors can prescribe the medication to leave many individuals unable to access treatment.
Dr. William Yarborough, who treats patients at the University of Oklahoma, told the Tulsa World that regulations restricting the availability of Suboxone do more harm than good, as many local doctors have lengthy waiting lists of individuals who are seeking treatment.
Yarborough told the news source that his waiting list is four pages long and that while he is unable to take more patients, individuals are continuing to suffer from the consequences of opiate addiction.
Currently, federal regulations limit the number of patients a doctor can treat with Suboxone to 100. However, these regulations were drafted back in 2000, and some experts say that things have changed. The medication is safer than thought and should be more available to anyone who needs it.
Some of the regulations and limits on prescribing Suboxone were lifted in 2005 by an amendment to the federal Controlled Substances Act, but there are still many hurdles that providers must clear in order to treat more patients.