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. OpioidRisk.com, a training program created by Clinical Tools, the company that created Buppractice.com, 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, OpioidRisk.com, 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 (NAABT.org) provides an article "15 Ways to Save Money on Buprenorphine Treatment" that lists and describes various ways to save on buprenorphine treatment.