Newswires
Feds Seek to Spend Nearly $1B More on Medication-Assisted Care  E-mail
Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire

02/05/2016 -ATIN - With demand soaring in the wake of a mostly heroin led drug addiction surge as well as increases in alcoholism that perhaps can be traced to the massive increase in hard liquor ads in the wake of federal loosening of rules surrounding hard liquor marketing, published reports say the Obama administration is seeking nearly $1B in additional funding to back medicated assisted treatment, which is mostly methadone and buprenorphine detoxification and maintenance services but also increasingly the drug brand named Vivitrol, which has made some well publicized inroads within the drug court system. While the drug courts are increasingly using the brand-named Vivitrol anti-craving med, Vivitrol could use this new federal funding source to boost what have for years been tiny sales of the drug.

Drop-in-The-Bucket

While the $1B is indeed welcome, it is a drop-in-the-bucket compared to the drug and alcohol epidemic which is sweeping the nation. The candidates running for president have some of them made additional treatment funding a rather major campaign issue. And to have a number with which to compare the nearly $1B additional funding, Hillary Clinton has proposed that if she were elected she would push for a $10B comprehensive addiction treatment initiative. And, according to medical industry journal Health Affairs, in 2005 a total of $22B was spent on addiction treatment services nationally, a number that is thought to have increased substantially since then but still is the tiniest fraction of the multi-trillion dollar overall medical market that is about 13 percent of all economic activity in the U.S.

Vivitrol Expensive Compared Generic Naltrexone

Another drug used in medication assisted addiction treatment is Vivitrol, developed by Boston area based Alkermes which since has been merged and morphed within the pharma industry. Alkermes experimented with naltrexone - a drug prescribed for its anti-craving properties with respect to opiates and alcohol and costs practically nothing when taken orally generic - to ultimately create its Vivitol brand drug. Alkermes did the old pharma industry trick by putting "old wine" (what was already cheaply available naltrexone in pill form) and making a monthly injection "new bottle" naltrexone. That's because Alkermes specialized in long-term delivery systems for drugs and had big success for a drug key in suppressing the symptoms of schizophrenia and thus the "old wine in a new bottle" trick used by pharma to add a patent and charge more. But despite its higher profile lately, Vivitrol has never sold much more than $30M or so annually.

PLEASE READ OUR STORY ON NATIONWIDE DRUG EPIDEMIC

http://www.treatmentmagazine.com/newswires/614-ny-times-full-page-takeout-details-drug-scourge-rise-.html

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written by Carol Coleman, February 06, 2016
A large number of addicts reject Vivatrol because it will inhibit their ability to get high and they are not at the time committed to recover
report abuse
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