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Press Release: Congressman Bill Foster Leads Effort to Ensure Affordable Medical Treatment for Opioid Dependency

Jun 15, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC – This week, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) led a bipartisan letter to Department of Health and Human Services. The letter encourages the Department to ensure the newly approved six-month buprenorphine implant is accessible and affordable for individuals who need treatment for opioid addiction.

“I am proud to lead the effort to ensure this medication is affordable and accessible to anyone who needs help with opioid dependence. Opioid dependence is a growing public health crisis, and we need to treat addiction as a medical condition instead of a moral failure,” Foster said. “We must continue to find new ways to make treatment available to people who need medical treatment for their dependence. It is incumbent on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to work with manufacturers to make sure it is affordable for individuals who need it.”

Opioid dependency affects more than two million people in the United States. The Federal Drug Administration recently approved Probuphine, the first implant approved to treat opioid addiction. The implant releases buprenorphine, a drug that reduces cravings for opioids, and it provides a reliable way for individuals to get the medical treatment for dependency without the risk of skipping a dose. In clinical trials, the implant led to a significantly higher abstinence rate among individuals with opioid dependency. Individuals who received the implant were also more likely to remain on the treatment.