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DATA Waiver Processing and Support

The Drug Abuse Treatment Act (DATA) of 2000 permitted the use of alternative drugs for the treatment of opioid addiction. In 2002 the Food and Drug Administration approved buprenorphine as one such drug. Included in the legislation was the provision that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ensure all physicians submit a wavier or “notice of intent” to prescribe buprenorphine and ensure each physician has the proper training, licensing, and approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The DATA Waiver contract supports this mission by providing a customized application called the Buprenorphine Waiver Notification System (BWNS) for handling the processing for approximately 3,000 new and about 1,500 patient increase request waivers per year. This system has been in continual operation since 2002, with various enhancements and updates as needed. The contract also supports a 1–800 number for questions regarding buprenorphine, provides an online locator for finding physicians who choose to be listed, and operates a moderated physician Web board. In addition to these major tasks, the project supports ad hoc reporting and dissemination of information via a listserv of all waived physicians.

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