Vivitrol Sales Soar on Prison and Jails Boom

07/18/2017 - ATIN - Sales of the addiction medicated-assisted therapy Vivitrol are skyrocketing on the back of headlines about the opiate epidemic. The boom in the drug, developed by Boston-based Alkermes, comes after sales languished for years following FDA approval of Vivitrol about a decade ago.

Vivitrol is one of just a handful of drugs specifically developed and approved to treat addiction. In the first quarter, net sales of Vivitrol were nearly $59M, soaring 33 percent year-over-year. For the full year 2016, sales jumped 45 percent to nearly $210M. Second quarter numbers should be out shortly. By contrast sales of Suboxone, the top opiate medical treatment, are running a super blockbuster $1.5B a year, more than Viagra.

One area that has had high profile movement on Vivitrol has been within the justice system. Just the latest of dozens of similar developments in jail and prisons nationwide, LA County jail, the nation's second largest, is spending $500K on Vivitrol, which is a monthly injection of the opiate euphoria blocker naltrexone. It retails for $1,000 per injection, although it is likely that public wholesale buyers like jails and prisons may be paying significantly less.

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