Multi-Sector Collaboration

Aiming to increase access to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) and reduce overdose deaths, the Maryland (MD) ORS team serves as part of a coalition of stakeholders working to resolve this issue in Maryland. There have been reports from treatment providers throughout the state experiencing barriers with their clients obtaining their buprenorphine prescriptions at pharmacies, including barriers relating to homelessness. Some of the difficulty in retrieving medication stems from the varying thoughts, opinions and approaches related to buprenorphine medication. However, an op-ed published in a city newspaper generated multi-sector interest in the problem. A meeting was held with the DEA Diversion, the MD ORS team, a regional representative from a local pharmacy and staff from a treatment provider in Baltimore City to discuss the efficacy of buprenorphine and each sector’s stance on the issue. The meeting resulted in clear agreement across sectors, an established plan of action and resolved misconceptions about buprenorphine. Overall, because of this coalition, key sectors can continue to share their perspectives and work together to resolve relevant issues across Baltimore City. The MD ORS team hopes to use the coalition model to address other statewide issues.