|Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire|
|02/24/2013-ATIN – After for years and years toiling in relative obscurity while stretching for every last dollar of revenue, a pioneer in the development of highly medical models of drug rehab alcohol rehab addiction treatment is finally coming into its own as ObamaCare, having withstood judicial review, is fully implemented over the next few years. “We are getting about 25 residential beds, representing at most a half million dollar investment,” ARCA St. Louis CEO and founder Percy Menzies told Treatment Magazine. “That’s not a big deal in most places, but for us, who have wanted residential capacity for some time, it’s a big step forward.”
Suddenly in Demand
One of the key aims for treating addiction in healthcare reform, which is unraveling across the nation in stages, is the promotion of a greater role for mainstream medicine in substance abuse care. It is a theme that Dr. Menzies has been shouting about from the roof tops for many years. “Specifically, we have always thought that it was critical to get the primary care doctors, the internists, involved in understanding and treating addiction,” says Menzies. “Suddenly that’s a pretty sexy theme in Washington.” Indeed, with the nation’s previously soaring medical costs – rising since the 1970s at double digit annual rates until the last couple of years when the rise has rather mysteriously slowed – the latest rage in addiction treatment seems to be the pushing of “brief early intervention” combined with a far more medical model approach to treating substance abuse. With the rapidly declining incomes of primary care internists over the past twenty years and the central and very lucrative role the prescribing of medications like Suboxone are taking in the approaches being taken by ObamaCare, primary care doctors are welcoming the new addictions focus as an outstanding new business opportunity.
The spotlight has begun to shine on Dr. Menzies and ARCA big time, with none other than President Obama’s Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske, paying a visit to ARCA last summer – a seminal event for Dr. Menzies. In the dangerous crosscurrents that represent the politics of the drug wars, with increasingly vocal and well funded opposition calling for legalization and decriminalization pitted against the huge political power of police forces, DAs and prisons in the form of the entrenched interests of the Prison Industrial Complex, the administration’s policy is to push for a “Third Way” policy consisting of increased emphasis on treatment and prevention. In Dr. Menzies and ARCA, Kerlikowske has found a turnkey solution that can be modeled and possibly promoted nationwide.
Long Time Advocate
A pharmacist by training, Dr. Menzies for years has fought against a “pharmacophobia” that naturally dominated attitudes within the drug treatment community, whose job it was to battle the abuse of prescription medications, a problem that has only gotten worse as well-to-do middle class demographics, avoiding the stigma associated with street drugs, abuse prescription medications on an unprecedented scale. While there are many dozens of clinical trials, funded both by private drug companies and government research agencies, which will no doubt provide a cornucopia of therapeutic alternatives in the future, right now about the only game in town is a drug called naltrexone, which has been around for decades and is prescribed as an anti-craving agent for those addicted to alcohol and opiates. Naltrexone is at the center of ARCA’s therapeutic approach, with Dr. Menzies having long experience with the drug going back to the 1980s when he was product manager at Dupont for Revia, the first branded naltrexone. ARCA is clearly one the largest players for the administration of VIVITROL, a long acting monthly naltrexone injection controversial for its high cost, having administered 4,500 doses worth well over $5M at current wholesale pricing.
With an increasing number of well insured professionals succumbing to opiate addiction, both prescriptions and heroin, ARCA’s phones have been ringing. Last year, Menzies opened his third outpatient clinic and in February ARCA Residential opened with a 25-bed unit located at the state-of-the-art Metropolitan St. Louis Psychiatric Center in Downtown St. Louis, which should drive ARCA’s overall revenues well past $4M this year, up from $100K in 2001.
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