The Drug Abuse Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA-2000) was written to allow for a variety of new drugs to be used in an office based setting by certified physicians. One aspect of this Act is the limitation of 30-100 patients per physician. In 2002 Suboxone®/Subutex® became the first drugs that physicians could use and as of now buprenorphine preparations are still the only approved medications. Without knowing the abuse potential or other social impact of these yet to be discovered drugs for addiction safeguards were built in the law. Many patients and physicians have complained that the law is too restrictive because almost every physician can prescribe potentially addictive medication, but once a patient becomes addicted, physicians are restricted on how many they can treat for addiction.
The law has been amended twice. The first in August 2005 allowed every certified doctor to prescribe to up to 30 patients regardless of whether they are in a group or sole practice. The second amendment was signed into law 12/29/2006 and allowed physicians who have had their DATA-2000 certification for more than one year the option of increasing their maximum to 100 patients. This change had a great impact on the number of patients that could get treatment.