Satellite Medication Units  

According to SAMHSA’s Federal Guidelines for Opioid Treatment Programs (March 2015), a satellite medication unit  


“must have a separate and unique DEA registration. SAMHSA only requires notification via submission of an updated on-line SMA-162 (; no additional certification is needed. Such a unit is intended to facilitate access to medication-assisted treatment for patients who would otherwise have to travel great distances. Other required services must still be provided at the certified OTP” [15] 


AATOD recommends that expanded satellite medication units work in conjunction with licensed OTPs. We also recommend that SAMHSA coordinate this effort with the DEA and State Opioid Treatment Authorities. We reiterate that the use of telehealth services to assess and induct new methadone patients enhances the ability of such satellite units to admit patients. In this case, and unlike mobile vans, the satellite medication unit is a brick-and-mortar facility, which can be located in the general vicinity of the OTP, or some distance away, depending on the treatment gaps in the county or region of the state. SAMHSA’s current regulations allow for the implementation of satellite medication units. To date, such units are considerably underutilized, and we are of the judgment that this opportunity would also expand access to care with the OTPs acting as hub sites. The care would be coordinated through the OTP hub site as a means of monitoring the treatment the patient would receive. SAMHSA needs to amend the existing regulatory guidance to OTPs from 2015 and clearly define what services can be provided in satellite medication units.  

As supporters of #MedicationAssistedTreatment, we understand the dangers of allowing methadone – a Schedule II narcotic – to be distributed at local pharmacies. 
ACT NOW by telling Congress to protect the #OTP standard of care & our communities: #PNAP

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