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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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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.

Proposed Project: The Evaluation of the Buprenorphine Waiver Program: Longitudinal Patient 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 of the Buprenorphine Waiver Program will be accomplished using three survey efforts. The first of these is a mail survey of addiction physicians from the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and/or the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP). That survey will assess early perceptions of physicians specializing in addiction medicine about whether buprenorphine, as it is prescribed and distributed under the Waiver, is a useful tool in the treatment of substance abuse, and whether they have encountered any negative consequences associated with it. Results from this survey will influence the focus and content of two additional proposed surveys to be fielded later in 2003.

The Longitudinal Patient Survey will focus on patients who have received buprenorphine and will assess its availability and effectiveness from the patients' point of view. Beginning in October of 2003, DPT plans to collect longitudinal data from a cohort of about 800 buprenorphine patients to assess the effectiveness of buprenorphine therapy. Patients will be recruited through a sample of prescribing physicians' offices. Office staff will give each eligible buprenorphine patient a study brochure that explains the importance of the study, offers an incentive worth $50, and gives the Start Printed Page 24496patient a toll-free telephone number to call at to complete the survey by telephone.

Patients will be asked a series of questions that will provide baseline data for the evaluation. Follow-up data on the services received, satisfaction with the treatment, and outcomes will be collected at 30 days and 6 months intervals. Survey domains include the following: Patient demographics; Buprenorphine dose over time; Items from the short form of the Addiction Severity Index (ASI); Services being received in addition to medications; Needle-sharing and HIV status; Treatment and substance abuse history, in particular prior experience with medication-based treatment for opioid dependence; Experience, satisfaction with, and general knowledge of, buprenorphine.

A third survey will be conducted later, focusing on the clinical practice and perceived effectiveness of buprenorphine among only those physicians who are actively prescribing the medication. A separate clearance request will be submitted for this physician survey.

The estimated response burden for the longitudinal survey of buprenorphine patients over a period of one year is summarized below.

Number of respondentsResponses/respondentTotal responsesHours/responseTotal hour burden
Buprenorphine patients80032,400.501,200

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: April 30, 2003.

Richard Kopanda,

Executive Officer, SAMHSA.

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[FR Doc. 03-11263 Filed 5-6-03; 8:45 am]