Expanding access to effective treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) is essential to staunching the opioid epidemic. Access to these treatments is particularly important in Medicaid, which covers a disproportionately large share of people with OUD (MACPAC 2017). Despite strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of pharmacotherapy for OUD (sometimes called medication-assisted treatment), research indicates that most people with OUD do not receive treatment (Clemans-Cope, Lynch, et al. 2019; Saloner and Karthikeyan 2015). Three medications—buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone—are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for OUD treatment and have well-documented benefits. This brief uses Medicaid State Drug Utilization Data (SDUD) to assess buprenorphine maintenance treatment in Medicaid. We estimated trends from 2011 to 2018 and patterns across states and the District of Columbia, which we consider a state for this analysis.
Source: Urban Institute