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Journal Articles Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment Year : 2022

Prescribing buprenorphine for opioid use disorder in primary care


Introduction: Although opioid substitution coverage in France is high and patient care with buprenorphine is mainly managed by general practitioners (GPs), buprenorphine sales have been decreasing since 2011, suggesting that French GPs are prescribing less buprenorphine. Yet this possible change in GP practices has not yet been investigated. This study aimed to examine primary care GPs' opinions about buprenorphine and habits related to prescribing buprenorphine. Methods: The study team conducted a cross-sectional survey from March 2021 to July 2021 among a sample of GPs in the Sentinelles network, a French epidemiologic surveillance system based on primary care practitioners. The study collected information about substance use disorder (SUD) training, opinions on buprenorphine, and habits related to buprenorphine prescription were collected (initiation and renewal within the past two years). Findings: Among the 237 participants (34 % response rate), 15.2 % reported having had specific training for SUD management. A majority reported a very positive (16 %) or positive (63.7 %) opinion of buprenorphine. Most participants agreed (61.2 %) or strongly agreed (31.2 %) that buprenorphine was efficacious in the treatment of illicit opioid use disorder. Of the 206 GPs who reported having treated patients with opioid use disorder in the past two years, 47 (22.8 %) had initiated a buprenorphine prescription, whereas 177 (85.9 %) had renewed a buprenorphine prescription. Previous SUD training was associated with initiating buprenorphine (OR 4.66; 95 % CI [2.15-10.08]), while female gender was associated with not initiating buprenorphine prescribing (OR 0.46; 95 % CI [0.22-0.98]). Conclusion: A sample of French GPs who work in primary care has a positive view of buprenorphine, but the absence of SUD training among this population may be a barrier to their prescribing buprenorphine.

Dates and versions

hal-04008533 , version 1 (28-02-2023)





Barbara Lépine, Marion Debin, Lise Dassieu, Laetitia Gimenez, Aurore Palmaro, et al.. Prescribing buprenorphine for opioid use disorder in primary care: A survey of French general practitioners in the Sentinelles network. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 2022, 143, pp.108891. ⟨10.1016/j.jsat.2022.108891⟩. ⟨hal-04008533⟩
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