‘Untreated’: Patients with opioid addiction could soon lose access to virtual care

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Used syringes are disposed of at a needle exchange clinic. | LM Otero/AP Photo

Thousands of patients turning to online help for opioid addiction could soon lose access to life-saving services that rapidly expanded during the pandemic — even as opioid deaths reach record levels.

A new crop of startups boomed when regulations eased in 2020, allowing patients to see medical practitioners from their homes and skip the in-person visits normally required to get a prescription for buprenorphine, a drug used to treat opioid dependence.

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