Titan, Nevada Center for Behavioral Health collaborate on Probuphine treatment of OUD in criminal justice system

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Titan Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TTNP) launched a pilot program in collaboration with the Nevada Center for Behavioral Health to evaluate a medication-assisted treatment program utilizing Titan’s Probuphine (buprenorphine) implants for opioid use disorder (OUD) patients in Nevada’s criminal justice system.

The pilot program was initiated with Titan’s training and certification of seven health care providers in the Nevada criminal justice system on the Probuphine Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy program.

In a statement, Titan CSO, Dr. Kate DeVarney, said there is increasing recognition that the rate of recidivism among inmates with OUD is very high, as is the incidence of overdose and death for recently released inmates who have detoxed without the benefit of medication-assisted treatment while incarcerated.

“In addition to this project, our plan is to establish similar pilots with other select criminal justice programs, with the goal of generating meaningful data that potentially supports the use of Probuphine in this population,” she added.

The pilot program is being supported through an opioid treatment and recovery grant awarded to the Center for Behavioral Health in May 2018, as part of the 21st Century Cures Act, which was passed by Congress in 2016.

“For many people with OUD, the most effective treatment is the combination of counseling and medication-assisted treatment, with medications such as buprenorphine,” said Dr. Stephanie Woodard, a senior advisor on behavioral health for the State of Nevada.

It is estimated that of the 2.3 million people currently confined in U.S. correctional facilities, about 25% suffer from OUD. Currently, less than 1% of U.S. prisons and jails allow access to medication for OUD due largely to the risk of misuse and diversion of sublingual formulations.

However, new research published by JAMA Psychiatry has demonstrated benefits of buprenorphine during incarceration and on release. In Rhode Island,

a recent study found that opioid overdose deaths dropped by nearly 2/3 when mediation-assisted treatment was provided to all state inmates.

Sydney Stewart