Monday, July 30, 2012

REMS for Extended Release/Long Acting Opioids

The FDA introduced a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) for extended release and long-acting opioids on July 9, 2012. As part of that REMS, manufacturers are required to provide training on topics included in a "blueprint" for such education supplied by the FDA., a training program created by Clinical Tools, the company that created, covers all topics in this blueprint.

Additional Training to Reduce Buprenorphine Diversion

Evidence that buprenorphine is being diverted for non-medical use is accumulating. The sister training to this one,, includes a whole course on minimizing diversion in your practice and another on assessing patients for risk of opioid abuse. Two program options of 4 hours each, a core and an advanced one, offer training that includes the topics recommended by the FDA in their blueprint for continuing education for the REMS on long-acting/extended-release opioids.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cost of Buprenorphine Treatment to Patients

The cost of buprenorphine can vary depending on the dose. Parties that determine the cost of a dose of buprenorphine include the pharmaceutical companies, the health insurer, and retail pharmacies.

Daily doses of buprenorphine are normally 8mg to 24mg; the cost per daily dose of buprenorphine varies from $4-$19. Reckitt Benckiser makes the brand name tablets, Suboxone and Subutex, and the Suboxone filmstrip formulation. Roxane Labs produces a generic buprenorphine-only formulation, which is not widely used. Patients who do not have health insurance can expect to pay around $500 per month for buprenorphine treatment, which includes the cost of the medication plus the cost of doctor's visits. These estimates are based on an average dose of 16mg/day ($12 x 30 days=$360) plus a $100-200 fee for office visits. Of course, these rates will vary based on factors such as geographic location and proximity of other providers.

A recent newsletter article from The National Alliance of  Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment ( provides an article "15 Ways to Save Money on Buprenorphine Treatment" that lists and describes various ways to save on buprenorphine treatment.