A New Tool to Fight Opioid Abuse

Saying it could help ease the US drug overdose crisis, a panel of medical experts has advised the FDA to approve a new device to treat opioid addicts.

Probuphine, a matchstick-sized arm implant, delivers a 6-month stream of buprenorphine, a common treatment. The challenge is that the medicine is also addictive itself—hence the controlled delivery of doses is key. “I think this will save some folks’ lives,” said David Pickar, adjunct professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who voted to recommend approval. “From a safety point of view I think we’re in good shape.”

Questions remain, however over the need to adjust dosages, and the possibility that patients using the implants might feel they can disregard counseling, another essential part of treatment.

The New York Times

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