Probuphine is an opioid addiction implant that shows great promise for treating this substance abuse disorder, and it is currently waiting to be approved by the FDA so that it can be offered as a treatment option. The device is a subdermal implant that s surgically placed under the skin of the individual, and it provides a stable and steady release of buprenorphine. The implant can last up to 6 months, it is typically placed under the skin on the arm, and it is very small. An FDA advisory committee voted in favor of approving the innovative implant device during a January 12, 2016 meeting with a vote of 12-5. Buprenorphine is also marketed under the brand names Suboxone or Subutex.
Right now patients with an addiction to opioid drugs must take a dose of buprenorphine at least once a day, but if the opioid addiction implant Probuphine is approved by the FDA this self administration may no longer be necessary. When a patient is provided with multiple doses of the drug the potential for abuse or misuse is always a possibility, and the implant eliminates this risk. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, a well known activist for mental health, explained “The ability to now deliver the medication in a safer way for individuals, their families and society is truly a breakthrough.” A press release by Sunil Bhonsle, the CEO and president of Titan Pharmaceuticals, states that “The implant could increase patient compliance, decrease the risk of diversion and improve patients’ quality of life.” Some argue that replacing opioid drugs with other similar drugs is not the best way to go when treating addiction though.