HHS to expand treatment access for war on opioid addiction

Titan Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TTNP) and its marketing partner, closely-held Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, received a potential shot in the arm as the White House called for expanded access to treatment in the war on opioid addition.

Braeburn distributes Titan’s Probuphine product, a six-month implant of buprenorphine, in the U.S. The FDA approved Probuphine in May 2016.

In Titan's most recent financial results report, its President and CEO, Sunil Bhonsle, said the company was very encouraged by the substantial resources Braeburn has deployed to support the full commercial launch of Probuphine.

That launch commenced in the first quarter of 2017 with a field sales force and medical support staff of more than 60, focusing on more than 80 key treatment centers throughout the U.S.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, in a speech in Atlanta, said his agency would boost access to opioid treatment, support “cutting-edge research” on new treatment, push for better practices to help patients manage their pain and cut down on prescriptions of powerful opioids.

In his speech, Mr. Price announced the release of $485-million in grants to fund evidence-based treatment — part of the 21st Century Cures Act signed into law last year.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a spokesperson for Advocates for Opioid Recovery, urged health officials to expand treatment by deregulating doctors. Current law limits how many patients doctors can treat with medications such as methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine, which can help keep cravings in check.