Patients receive skin implants for opioid treatment 17 days after device's approval

Braeburn Pharmaceuticals announced today that ten patients have been treated with the Probuphine Implant, making them the first people in the U.S. to receive the new opioid treatment approved by the FDA on May 26.

The Probuphine Implant consists of four one-inch rods that go beneath the skin of the upper arm. The treatment works by delivering a steady controlled dose of buprenorphine, which has been previously used to treat opioid addiction either in pill form or via a film placed under the tongue.

The first physicians to implant Probuphine since its approval were Steven Chavoustie, MD, of the Segal Institute for Clinical Research in Miami, Mike Frost, MD, medical director of Eagleville Hospital in Conshohocken, Pa., Marc Maskowitz, MD, of Paincare Medical Practice in Sacramento, Calif., and Matthew Torrington, MD, through his private practice in Los Angeles.

Currently, more than 1,100 healthcare providers in 44 states are certified to provide the implant to patients. This summer, Princeton, N.J.-based Braeburn Pharmaceuticals will offer 252 training sessions in 55 U.S. cities, bringing the total amount of certified physicians to more than 2,000 by the end of July and 4,000 by the end of 2016.

Insurers have also readily discussed coverage for Probuphine. United Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield were among companies that approved reimbursement for the first recipients of the implant.

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