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Pharmaceutical Companies Develop Buprenorphine Implant

Pharmaceutical Companies Develop Buprenorphine Implant

Two pharmaceutical companies have developed a new drug called Probuphine, which was due to be reviewed by the FDA last week. 


Probuphine, invented by Braeburn Pharmaceuticals and Titan Pharmaceuticals is “an investigational implant, about the size of a matchstick,” which releases steady doses of buprenorphine for up to six months (Siegel, 2016). The implant is placed under the skin in a patient’s upper arm. 


The idea of Probuphine is to increase patient compliance with medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for drug abuse. Because oral buprenorphine is supposed to be taken daily in order to prevent drugs like heroin and oxycodone from producing their effects, patient compliance can become an issue during treatment. According to addiction news website The Fix, “a 2011 study found patients on MAT who were not compliant were ten times more likely to relapse” (Siegel, 2016). 


Probuphine is currently being tested in a clinical trial and has not yet been approved for use by the FDA.






Siegel, Z. (2016). Will a buprenorphine implant drive up patient compliance? Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/will-buprenorphine-implant-drive-patient-compliance