Buprenorphine X-waiver exemption – beyond the basics for the obstetrical provider

Erin M. Cleary, Marcela C. Smid, Jasmin E. Charles, Kaitlyn M. Jones, Maged M. Costantine, George Saade, Kara M. Rood

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Buprenorphine is 1 of 3 medications approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of opioid use disorder, and practitioners must obtain a federal waiver to prescribe buprenorphine. Until recently, physicians and advanced practice clinicians were required to complete 8 and 24 hours of training, respectively, before applying for this waiver and to provide psychosocial services when prescribing buprenorphine to ≤30 patients. The US Department of Health and Human Services announced in April 2021 that eligible providers would be exempt from the educational requirement for certification, making the waiver more accessible for those intending to prescribe to ≤30 patients. Here, we reviewed the historic background to the exemption and provided practical guidelines to practitioners caring for obstetrical patients with opioid use disorder who are considering applying for the waiver for the first time. Because the educational requirements will no longer be required for X-waiver application, we reviewed fundamental topics and challenging scenarios that are often reviewed in certification courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100451
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology MFM
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • buprenorphine X-waiver
  • opioid use disorder
  • perinatal addiction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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