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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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In compliance with Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 concerning opportunity for public comment on proposed collections of information, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will publish periodic summaries of proposed projects. To request more information on the proposed projects or to obtain a copy of the information collection plans, call the SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer on (301) 443-7978.

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Start Printed Page 72219

Proposed Project: Evaluation of the Buprenorphine Waiver Program—Baseline Physician Survey—(New)—The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Division of Pharmacologic Therapies (DPT), is evaluating a program that permits office-based physicians to obtain Waivers from the requirements of the Narcotic Addict Treatment Act of 1974 (21 U.S.C. 823 (g)). Under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (21 U.S.C 823 (g)(2)), the Waiver Program permits qualifying physicians to prescribe and dispense buprenorphine, a schedule III narcotic drug recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of opiate addiction. Furthermore, the Drug Abuse Treatment Act specifies that the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services make a determination of whether: (1) Treatments provided under the Waiver Program have been effective forms of maintenance treatment and detoxification treatment in clinical settings; (2) the Waiver Program has significantly increased (relative to the beginning of such period) the availability of maintenance treatment and detoxification treatment; and, (3) the Waiver Program has adverse consequences for the public health. In addition to the objectives above, the Evaluation of the Buprenorphine Waiver Program will examine other related objectives, including: (1) Describing the impact of the Waiver-based treatment on the existing treatment system; (2) providing information useful to guide and refine the processing/monitoring system being developed and maintained by CSAT/DPT; and (3) providing baseline data to inform future research and policy concerning the medicalization and mainstreaming of addiction treatment.

The evaluation by DPT of the Buprenorphine Waiver Program will be accomplished using three survey efforts. The first of these, in the first year of the evaluation, is a mail survey of addiction physicians from the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and/or the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP). Some of these specialists will be prescribing and distributing buprenorphine, while others not prescribing buprenorphine may or may not provide referrals or ancillary services to patients receiving buprenorphine treatment. The survey will provide early data about the availability, effectiveness, and public health consequences associated with the Waiver Program. Specifically, the survey will assess early perceptions of physicians specializing in addiction medicine of whether buprenorphine as prescribed and distributed under the Waiver Program is a useful tool in the treatment of substance abuse, and whether there are any negative consequences associated with it. The survey will also assess whether there are early indications of limitations to the availability of the medication, related to factors such as geographic location, type of medical practice, patient population, or ability to pay.

Results from this survey will influence the focus and content of two additional proposed surveys to be fielded later in 2003. A second survey will focus on the clinical practice and perceived effectiveness of buprenorphine among physicians who are actively prescribing the medication. A third survey of patients who have received buprenorphine will assess its effectiveness and availability from the patients' point of view. A separate Federal Register notice will be published for these surveys.

The estimated response burden for the first survey of physicians over a period of one year is summarized below.

Addiction physiciansNumber of respondentsNumber of responses/respondentTotal number of responsesHrs./responseTotal hour burden
Physician survey1,00011,000.5500 hrs.

Send comments to Nancy Pearce, SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer, Room 16-105, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857. Written comments should be received within 60 days of this notice.

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Dated: November 26, 2002.

Richard Kopanda,

Executive Officer, SAMHSA.

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[FR Doc. 02-30684 Filed 12-3-02; 8:45 am]