A new form of a widely used opioid addiction treatment that is injected monthly instead of taken daily as a tablet was approved Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration. Experts say the eagerly anticipated new version of the drug may help patients reduce relapses, disrupt the treatment market, and possibly dispel misconceptions about the drug’s potential for abuse.

Indivior is the first company to gain approval for a monthly injection of buprenorphine. The company is best known for Suboxone, a daily formulation that combines buprenorphine with naloxone into a film that dissolves under the tongue.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT Plus and enjoy your first 30 days free!

GET STARTED

What is it?

STAT Plus is STAT's premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.

What's included?

  • Daily reporting and analysis
  • The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day
  • STAT+ Conversations
  • Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations
  • Exclusive industry events
  • Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country
  • The best reporters in the industry
  • The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry
  • And much more
  • Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.
  • The big problem in this shot is their is no blocker. With Vivitrol if you use it blocks the effects. This is a shot version of Subutex not Suboxone. The later has a blocker included. Technically you can still feel the effects of opioids with the new shot. Vivitrol you can not.

    • The naloxone in suboxone does nothing unless injected it’s mixed with the subo one to keep people from injecting it the buprefern the buprenorphine binds harder to the receptors than other opiates thus blocking them I hope this clears some things up and please excuse my spelling

    • Buprenorphine itself is a blocker – suboxone was made to prevent addicts injecting it. This is the kind of misinformation people spout off who know nothing. Please do some research before posting such an idiot comment.

  • It’s good to hear that some people want to eliminate their opiate addiction. This surprises me. Good luck and best wishes to each of you.

    • Really? Why wouldn’t people want to treat their addiction? It’s a medical disease just like any other…

    • Another dumb comment – that’s like saying people with cancer really want to get rid of it? How surprising, what a conundrum? You think people addicted to narcotics really enjoy living in hell?

  • Yes, I am excited, I am a 40 years addicted opiate abuser. I have been on Suboxone on and off for 9 years. What I would give for a once a month injection, I am in tears to think I might just beat this. Thanks for all you do.

  • I too live in Cuyahoga county. Cleveland Ohio. One of the highest county’s in the U.S.A for overdose deaths. I have the same interests in exactly how much this new saviour is going to cost. To drug addicts 20 dollars can make them not sick and able to function for the fight for the next 20 dollars. Every addict that I have asked does not spend over 40 dollars a day. So 40 multiplied by 30 is $1200.00 give or take. Most addicts pan handle,steal,or prostitute. So that $40.00 is never garunteed. Vivitrol costs upwords of $1000.00. And is not paid for by Medicare/Medicaid. Most people who do take it had to go to jail and have an ongoing case pending so that a judge could order said person to receive the injection. It is a catch 22 not only is the person to receive the injection but also have to follow a case plan that is usually sat up for the addict to fail. So once the defendant eventually messes up their usually sent back to jail and when this happens they are usually sent to C.B.C.F or prison. So no need to be placed back on the injection. Then the cycle starts with the next defendant and so on. When will we begin to understand that people in inner citys usually are not from BEVERLY HILLS 90210 and barley have enough food in the fridge to make it to the next month. Why do the DRUG COMPANY’S take a drug that probably cost them $100.00 to make and disribute inflate the price to well into the thousands. Some thing that could help so many people but the truth is most people/addicts will never get the chance to find out if this is the one thing that could’ve restored them to sanity. All because of greed. Where their is nessesity their will always be a way to tell the one who is truly in need of help it will come tomorrow. You and I know tomorrow never truly comes does It? Tomorrow is always today’s yesterday. The reason I know this so we’ll …I too am an addict for over 5 years I have begged and pleaded for help… When your an addict your never truly heard…..Can anyone HEAR me now!

    • You are wrong Vivitrol is paid for by Medicaid. I run a Vivitrol program in Akron Ohio and i find the daily dose is far more than $20! More like $80-120/day. This new drug will continue dependance as there is no blocker
      Vivitrol at this time is the only hope to beat this disease but needs a behavior program with the injection
      I would expect this new drug formulation will be considered a god send but it will not address root cause of addiction to opiates. Need to block the mu neurons that cause cravingsl
      Takes 12-24 injections with wrap around support team to relearn normal life. Most have 10-15+ years addiction a 1/3 of their life
      Complicated but need to close the gap of detox 7 days to naltrexone then to injection

    • I love Dennis McClusky’s common sense approach. Injectable naltrexone is way underutilized and there are so many who think that medication assisted treatment is open ended and stand alone care. Injectable naltrexone ios like a cast on a broken leg, braces on a teen’s teeth, it is PART of a comprehensive care program. Recovery is hard WORK. Dennis please contact me in Boston as I am in total agreement.
      brianne fitzgerald NP

    • If they wanted to help They whould make that way for you. If you do turn to suboxon just don’t stay on that nolonger than you need to, cause its not easy to come off of. Just do it the right way. Cause if you dont watch it its another addiction. But a life saver at the same time. But Eds it’s like you said no help is for the pour and that’s sad. All I can say is pray cause God can help you threw a lot. Good luck to all of you. People who have never been there are the judges and don’t understand. Once you are a acidic or have had a addiction it’s always a battle.

  • My name is Aileen and I’m an addict. I live in Cleveland ohio. I have been an opioid user for over six years. I have tried detox ,neloxzone, treatment, and jail. Nothing seems to work. I have seen girls in jail take the vivitrol shot and as soon as they get out use. So one it did NOT help cravings and two they still could get high so eventually they would not go back and take the next month’s shot. I have been praying for something to come along that I don’t have to pay for a ride to get to everyday and that I won’t have to go threw the most “severe” withdrawal symptoms either. I am very serious about getting and staying clean .I am on State Medicare medicade will the pay for this “treatment”? How can I afford this? I barley scrape by trying to keep my self off sik. I believe with all my being that this new injection is going to be the leader in getting a handle on this opioid epidemic. In any event that Indivior could use someone that is serious about recovery knows the true meaning of “needing” to get well and becoming a productive part of helping others find “their” cure. Count me in I have never been more ready or serious in my life. I guess what I am truly asking for is help! I know that I DON’T have six more years to give to this disease. Please some one if you truly want to help…Im here pleading not only my case but the case’s of the other addict that suffers due to inability to pay for help that’s millions of dollars away from our grasp. I thank you in advance for taking time out of your day to hear the honest plea of someone who is serious about getting off opioids and taking back their life.

    • Hello Aileen,

      I have lost 2 family members to opioid addiction. Please hang in there!

      Please have a look at the BioCorRx program. The program combines a proprietary compounded naltrexone implant with a structured, proprietary counseling program specifically tailored for the treatment of alcoholism and opioid use disorder.

      The implants last much longer than the pills or injections and victims cannot skip a pill or a shot.

      People claim the cravings are gone which allows for the counseling to take hold. You need a clear head to implement the right strategy.

      This is relatively new but the results seem to indicate success. The kid from Growing Pains credits this for saving his life. Here are some video appearances to help get you acquainted:

      https://www.biocorrx.com/news-media/media

      They are 3 locations in Ohio. Not sure where but here is a press release.

      https://www.biocorrx.com/news-media/press-releases/detail/89/biocorrx-announces-enlitetm-clinics-to-implement-the

      Please don’t give up. Best of luck and God bless you!

      -Ed

  • How does one taper and withdraw from this latest and greatest pharmacological intervention?

  • Very exciting. Particularly as does not require total detoxifying before it can be used. Is there evidence extended release any better than what is out there now – do people do better? How much better? I am curious about the price tag – what does it cost on top of BUP-NX’s current cost to get the new extended version. How many billions does big pharma have parked off-shore currently? 290 billion? Re comment below – MAT using methadone or BUP-NX are both effective for many, many people. Naltrexone alone doesn’t work for everyone. Treatment should be based on what is best for each individual patient – should have access to alternatives.

  • After reading comments from some readers who have been taking opioids for many years, I’m skeptical that many addicts want to change, but this might help some people. It seems to make more sense to stop putting patients on opioids on a long-term basis unless they have cancer, a terminal condition, or something that is truly extraordinary. Unfortunately it is often profitable to put others on opioids on a long-term basis, which creates a financial incentive to do so.

  • They are not addressing the biggest issue that withdrawals from Suboxone are worse than words world’s from heroin the benefit of Vivitrol is that it is non-narcotic and therefore does not cause withdrawal symptoms when you come off of it the extended use format is just a bonus why would I want to kick dope just to kick Suboxone sometime down the road just like every other disease and there’s no money in The Cure so might as well get them hooked on something else

  • Please notify when the buprenorphine injection is released, my son is struggling to stay sober to receive the vivotrol injection. Or if he get the injection now through a program. I would appreciate you informing me ASAP. Thank you.

    • Complete bullsit. Suboxone is just as bad if not worse to get off than opiates. Only benifit of sub is that its cheaper for the addict and only need take 1 a day. Suboxone withdrawl is most definately worse than opiate withdrawl. All ur doin is trading one addiction for another another one. Anyone that is actually serious about getting off the pills can taper off opiates and if done correct, will only have mild withdrawl. Anyone and i mean anyone can take 1 half less of a pill a day. Then after 1 week, u take 1 less pill a day and so forth. No its no super easy but the key is to lower ur dose, no matter how much, even if u take 10 pills a day, start taking 9.5 a day and slow tapper down 1-2 weeks at a time. Might take 6 months to a year to get down to 1/2 pill a day but its worth it. But it will only work if u truely want off. I have found that most all say they want to quit but they really dont want to. And yes, i took em for 15 years. I was told about how good suboxone was and how u can take it to get off pills. Yea, it def got me off pills but did absolutely nothin for the addiction. Still had to take subs to feel normal and keep from getn sick. Worse thing i ever did was switch to it. So i started cutting my strips into smaller pieces week by week until they were so small i couldnt cut anymore. Went through pretty severe withdrawls for first 5 days and then delt with extreme fatigue and cravings for about 2 months before i started to feel normal. I wont ever touch another one. Just remember, it starts with u, not another drug.

Comments are closed.

A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day in science and medicine

Privacy Policy