New Treatment for Opioid Dependence Now Available

Caroline Cassels

September 16, 2013

Zubsolv (buprenorphine and naloxone), a recently approved medication for maintenance treatment of opioid dependence, is now available in pharmacies across the United States.

In a statement, the manufacturer, Orexo AB, announced the drug's commercial launch.

"Orexo is committed to advance the treatment for patients suffering from opioid dependence. Zubsolv was specifically designed to address many of the unmet needs expressed by patients being treated for opioid dependence," said company president Robert DeLuca in a statement.

Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in July and reported by Medscape Medical News at that time, the drug is a once-daily sublingual tablet that, according to the manufacturer, offers higher bioavailability that allows patients to "use lower strength and reduce the amount of available drug for potential misuse and diversion."

In addition, the company reports that the drug is the only opioid dependence treatment in tablet formulation that is available in the highest level (F1) child resistant, individual, unit-dose packaging, which is recommended as protection against unintended pediatric exposure.

According to manufacturer, opioid dependence costs the US economy about $56 billion annually. In addition, the average healthcare cost per patient with opioid dependence is 8 times higher compared with nondependent patients. Approximately 17,000 deaths are attributed to opioid analgesics every year.

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