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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:42 pm 
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At my previous suboxone doctors appointment he had discussed an implant that would last a matter of months 3 or 6 I believe without needing to dose what so ever. Does anyone have any experience with this procedure? If so I would appreciate how it has worked and any details anyone would be willing to share. He has assured me the procedure will soon be very common.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:51 pm 
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Hey pharmajoe welcome to the forum.

There's been a little bit of discussions on this forum about the buprenorphine implant but not a whole lot. If u go to the search function at the top and type in buprenorphine implant, it will show ya those posts. Maybe there'll be some info that could interest u.

I myself, haven't heard much about it nor have I inquired about it. I heard it was very expensive, like $5,000 and it lasts for 6 months or something like that. Not sure if that's even true, it's just what I heard. Hopefully someone who's more knowledgeable will be along shortly with better info. But definitely try to search for it, I know it's been discussed by a couple of suboxone doctors here.

Good luck!

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:00 pm 
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I apologize for s repeat thread. I didn't notice all words was the default search until my second. Yes he told me it was $4700 however would be covered with a $100 co pay. I just want as much knowledge and information as I can possibly get. Especially considering it's being implanted in me. I would love to hear from anyone who has actually had one. And Thanks for the warm welcome!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:13 pm 
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Hey PJ27,

Jennjenn has it right. There is a search function at the top of the page. I searched it to find a recent thread with other links w/in it. One guy did the implant.

question-about-new-suboxone-implants-t12691.html

Wishing you my best, P

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Stopping went well -- its the staying stopped -- where the real work begins.
Coming here 'keeps recovery green'.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:20 pm 
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Just to clarify, I don't think anyone is doing the implant yet. It was just approved a few weeks ago, and the company is sponsoring training sessions right now. They started the training about a month ago. Doc2m did the training. I was scheduled to, but then cancelled after hearing the details about the implant from the company-- i.e. that doctors would be required to purchase the implant, and then do the work of getting the implant paid for. As doc2m wrote, it is a failed business model to risk $5000 in order to make $150 months later. In fact, since insurers routinely take 3-6 months to pay for office visits, who knows how long it will take to get the $5000 back.

The company said they will have a program to reimburse doctors for losses-- for example if a doc pays for the implant for Mr. Smith, but then Mr. Smith doesn't show for his appointment. But purchasing implants for 5 grand and trusting the company to cover losses doesn't sound like a great idea to me. Most psychiatrists don't have tens of thousands of dollars laying around to purchase implants.

I suspect someone at the pharmaceutical company thinks the doc can have the patient's insurance company pay for the med up front, and use THAT money to get the implant. But that is not going to work very well. Many people make appointments to start buprenorphine, and then don't show for the initial visit. I'd guess the no-show rate, overall, is around 30% in my area-- an area where bupe docs are in high demand. So are insurance companies going to pay doctors $5K for patients who MIGHT show up, and then eat the cost if the patient doesn't show? I doubt it. The implants have a finite shelf-life, so if they aren't used, they are wasted. Who will eat that cost? For the doctor, just one no-show removes the entire profit from doing 30 implant procedures.

There are many other issues.... once given a 6-month implant, will the patient keep going to weekly therapy visits? Will the patient show for doctor visits and drug tests? Why? I suspect many patients will make the decision 'I'll just stop buprenorphine in the next six months', stop follow-ups, and then beg to come back six months later. Doctors already see that type of behavior with ONE month appointments-- and so I can only imagine what will happen with a six month implant.

I can see where implants are a good deal for patients. Patients get the assurance that they are 'covered' for the next six months-- no matter what happens. If they go to jail, they are covered. If they stop drug tests and counseling visits, they are covered. I'm someone who believes addiction patients should be given as much dignity as any other patient, and so i could see doing the implant, provided I have some assurance I won't go broke in the process. At this point, that assurance isn't there---- Not yet anyway.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:08 pm 
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Thx, Dr J,

Good points!

The guy that did the implant that posted here, user name WFDLt, was in the implant trial last year and provided a great write-up of his experience. He was notified afterwards that he had the real implant and not a placebo. WFLDt mentions his arm being cut up and a large scar.

So wondering, every 6 months, is it the same site or a different arm site for the next implant installation? I think docm2 mentioned needing to get a surgeon involved? The cost then goes up even more...

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Coming here 'keeps recovery green'.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:09 pm 
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It was jschwartz that did the actual training. When I found out that I wouldn't be able to do the implant myself I bailed on the training. You have to have been involved with similar type procedures, minor surgery, Norplant placement, mole removals etc. within the previous 3 months. Then I found out their business model and there is 0 chance my admin would go for that. I am going to let the technology mature for awhile and see how the market shakes out. I really don't have that many patients that are stable on 8 mg. I have several people on 8 or less but they are actively in their taper and the Bup implant is for people on 8 mg a day. Some needed to supplement orally during the trials.
If they disappear after two months do they remain on my roster of 100 until the 6 months has gone by? The rep 6 weeks ago didn't have an answer for that.
Maybe it will have a place in the academic or forensic settings, but I don't see it making much inroads with psychiatrists or addiction internists.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:40 am 
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Why would a psychiatrist be implanting them? My suboxone Doctor and psychiatrist are different entities and where I live I need both to legally obtain my necessary meds. Although I guess any MD can do the suboxone training. I can see the reasons a doctor wouldn't want to use the implant. I've not only made it to every single appointment including groups for years and am finally quite stable where I am so he has brought up the implant. My biggest concern is that the dosing will become inaccurate. Even a change in manufacturer makes a huge difference so I'm very sensitive to small changes in dosage.


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