The Obama Administration will raise to 275 from 100 the limit on the number of patients with opioid addiction that certain physicians can treat with buprenorphine.
The move was part of several announced by the administration as part of an effort to stem the opioid abuse epidemic that is killing nearly 80 people from overdoses every day.
“We have to turn the tide of this epidemic,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, said in a statement as she revealed that the cap on prescriptions of the opioid-abuse medication buprenorphine would be raised as of this summer.
Oral buprenorphine, which is often sold under the brand name, Suboxone, is one of several approved medications for opioid use disorder.
In May, the FDA approved Probuphine, the first-ever buprenorphine implant, which is placed in users’ arms and lasts for six months. Probuphine was developed by Titan Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TTNP) and is sold by Titan’s marketing partner, closely-held Braeburn Pharmaceuticals.
Behshad Sheldon, CEO of Braeburn, welcomed the expansion of the prescription cap, noting that the new initiatives will help more Americans gain access to evidence-based medicine for the treatment of opioid addiction.
“Exempting injectable and implantable formulations of buprenorphine from counting toward the patient limit would also make a critical difference,” she added. “Overall, the progress is very encouraging.”