12 January 2023

On December 29, 2022, President Biden signed the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act into law. One effect of this law is to eliminate the federal waiver requirement for providers to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid use disorder. This is significant news for naturopathic physicians licensed in nearby states with legal authority to prescribe this life-saving medication, as our profession was previously excluded from this federal waiver program.

While buprenorphine is a controlled substance in Schedule III and therefore not within the current legal scope of naturopathic physicians licensed in Washington State, we share this news with our community in hopeful anticipation of successful passage of our prescriptive authority expansion in the 2023 Legislative Session. If the Legislature supports our efforts to improve access to primary care services by expanding the prescriptive authority of Washington-licensed naturopathic physicians, this federal change will be more significant to our doctors who currently work in or are interested in working in the arena of substance use disorder.

The WANP joins with the rest of our naturopathic community along with the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to celebrate the passage of this bill, which makes it easier for people struggling with opioid use disorder to access a key aspect of treatment.

~Angela Ross, ND - WANP Executive Director