Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Medicine
Regulations Governing Prescribing of Opioids and Buprenorphine [18 VAC 85 ‑ 21]
Guidance Documents
Chapter Information
Description Regulations set out provisions for prescribing of opioids for acute or chronic pain management and for prescribing of buprenorphine for addiction treatment.
State Authority 54.1-2400 and 54.1-2928.2
Federal Authority None entered
Periodic Review Note Revised 8/2023
Exempt from APA No, changes to this chapter are subject to the Administrative Process Act.
Text of Regulation Link to Virginia Administrative Code
Goals of Regulation 1. To protect public health and safety by prescribing opioids only to the extent necessary to effectively manage pain.
2. To provide guidance to prescribers in the management of pain and addiction treatment.
Meetings See all meetings (4) relating to this chapter.

Contact Information
Name / Title: Erin Barrett  / Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
Address: Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, VA 23233
Email Address:
Telephone: (804)367-4688    FAX: (804)915-0382    TDD: ()-
Current Actions
Action Title Latest Stage Status
Amendment of opioid and buprenorphine prescribing regulations following updated federal guidance Fast-Track Secretary of Health and Human Resources review in progress.
Changes to patient counseling regarding opioid prescriptions pursuant to HB699
Action is Exempt from Article 2 of the Administrative Process Act

Past Actions
Action Title Latest Stage Status
Waiver for e-prescribing of an opioid Final Stage complete. This regulation became effective on 06/09/2021.
Initial regulations Final Stage complete. This regulation became effective on 08/08/2018.