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Receipt and Duration of Buprenorphine Treatment During Pregnancy and Postpartum Periods in a National Privately-insured Cohort

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Research gaps exist on the use of medications for opioid use disorder (OUD) among birthing people. This retrospective cohort study included people who underwent childbirth deliveries during 2017-2020 and had a diagnosis of OUD identified from a national private insurance claims database. Buprenorphine prescriptions received during the year before childbirth and the year after childbirth were obtained from pharmacy claims. Logistic regressions were used to estimate associations between receipt of buprenorphine and individual and state-level factors. Among a sample of 1,523 birthing people diagnosed with OUD, 540 (35.5 %) received buprenorphine during the pregnancy or postpartum periods. About half (51.5 %) of new recipients of buprenorphine received treatment for at least six months and, of those, one-third experienced a treatment interruption. The buprenorphine receipt rate differed significantly by race and ethnicity: 28.8 % of non-Hispanic Black birthing people with OUD and 22.8 % of Hispanic birthing people with OUD received buprenorphine treatment in contrast to 37.7 % of non-Hispanic white birthing people (aOR 0.53 [95 % CI 0.35-0.81] and 0.59 [95 % CI 0.37-0.96], respectively). The buprenorphine use rate increased over time from 29.7 % in 2017 to 42.9 % in 2020. Birthing people living in states with punitive policies related to substance use in pregnancy had the lowest buprenorphine use rate of 22.7 % as compared to 43.0 % in states with least restrictive policies. In this national sample of privately-insured individuals, by 2020, 42.9 % of birthing people with OUD received buprenorphine treatment. Treatment discontinuation and interruptions were common in the period surrounding childbirth.


Wang X, Meisel Z, Kellom K, Whitaker J, Strane D, Chatterjee A, Rosenquist R, Matone M