MAT Addiction Centers Begin to Push Monthly Buprenorphine Injection
09/25/2018 - ATIN- Despite the fact that buprenorphine is by far the best selling medication-assisted-therapy, MAT, and the fact that the compound should be dirt cheap - it's been generic for decades - many companies keep buprenorphine MAT therapy prices high by tweaking drug formulas and getting new patents.
One such effort is being successfully deployed by the successor company to Suboxone maker Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals. Reckitt Benckiser, a European concern which makes most of its revenue from household products like Lysol, spun off it's pharmaceutical subsidiary into a separately traded entity that is now called Invidior (London: INDV). Earlier this year, Invidior got FDA approval for a monthly buprenorphine injection - brand name Sublocade - that the company is marketing aggressively.

In Indiana, a MAT-based outpatient center, called Lucina Treatment Center, is making Sublocade a centerpiece therapy. Lucina is the first center in the Midwest to offer Sublocade.

While it's not known how much health insurers will be paying for Sublocade, health insurance deals are always secret, Invidior is marketing the cash pay rate for Sublocade at $18K per monthly shot. And given that states like Illinois have passed opiate crisis laws mandating that Medicaid and private insurers take away all barriers to addiction MAT therapies, it seems likely that Sublocade could make substantial inroads. Certainly Invidior is hoping that Sublocade sales will mitigate a slowdown in Suboxone revenue.

Suboxone sales peaked at slightly less than $2B at an annualized rate in the fourth quarter of 2012, making the drug one of the biggest blockbusters in pharmaceutical industry history. Suboxone sales are still huge, running at about $1B a year. Generic versions of Suboxone are offered by a number of drug makers, but costs are still high to the consumer.

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