What did the Drug Maker of Suboxone do wrong?

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I will explain the facts of this case in this article today, and please read until the end when I put the nail in the coffin of Suboxone for good. I was also contacted recently by an organization that completed a large study of the drugs that people are doing during Covid-19, so anyone reading this will also have that to look forward to. Suboxone is a drug that at its best does virtually identical things that Subutex and generic buprenorphine do. The best drug rehabs in Florida use some form of buprenorphine every day most likely. When they created Suboxone, they thought they had a money-making drug on their hands. Research is expensive so lucrative medications are at a premium when it comes to pharmaceutical companies creating and patenting them. That is an important point because it touches on some of their illegal, or if not illegal, at least evil and uncaring, acts.

First of all, I don’t know how people sleep at night releasing data like this in order to get Suboxone accepted. And do not get me wrong, Suboxone is safe, it is mainly just buprenorphine and has been used safely for years. But to make the big bucks, they must have figured that methadone was their main target and competition, methadone has been saving lives since New York in the 1960s by the way. As methadone is proven to effectively treat opiate use disorder and Suboxone does the same thing. I found a study that listed over 3000 deaths from methadone overdoses, 14 from heroin, and did not list any from fentanyl. Let’s investigate that claim.  I can also tell you that Florida Springs Wellness and Recovery uses buprenorphine, talks glowingly of it from what I have heard, but they mean Buprenorphine ai believe, not overpriced Suboxone which can only be obtained at a few overpriced Suboxone “Doctors”, often with months-long waiting lists if not years-long lists.

This data is from the CDC, 

“In 2018, 67,367 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States. The age-adjusted rate of overdose deaths decreased by 4.6% from 2017 (21.7 per 100,000) to 2018 (20.7 per 100,000). Opioids—mainly synthetic opioids (other than methadone)—are currently the main driver of drug overdose deaths.”

Almost 70,000 Americans died in one year of overdose, and they make the point truly clear that methadone was not the culprit. Methadone in the US is received in single doses from clinics, and they watch the patient for an hour or so after the first dose to be sure there is no risk of overdose death. Fentanyl mainly, and sometimes heroin are the culprits for virtually all overdoses in the US.

Now here is data from Jama Network, which I have to say I find less credible than the CDC and even less credible now that I have seen their work.

“Methadone was involved in more than 30% of overdose deaths linked to the use of prescription painkillers in 2009, despite the drug making up only about 2% of painkiller prescriptions that year, according to a report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

That statement may look normal to you if you do not work in the field. They make an astounding statement based on the fact that only about 2% or less of painkiller prescriptions are methadone. What they fail to mention is that methadone is virtually never prescribed for pain. It lasts a long time, but it does not help very much with acute pain. It is also currently illegal for doctors around the country to prescribe methadone off label. I do not know who paid to have this reporting put out, or if anyone paid, but they conveniently left out facts and also may have made up some of their own. The tens of thousands of deaths from fentanyl and heroin that we see every single year cannot possibly be tied to methadone, but it sure helps Suboxone if they convince enough people methadone isn’t safe. On a side not, methadone is safe, and I have a really good article where New York did a 15 year study on methadone to make sure. It is a good read; we need much more methadone and less barriers to care, not misinformation from corporations. Now the nail in the coffin. Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of Suboxone, had to pay over 1 billion dollars for the illegal things they did to get their drug in the hands of desperate patients. Let us trust experts. Lets safely expand access to methadone and generic buprenorphine. I will write in the coming days of the ways that could happen to help millions of substance use disorder sufferers. 

By T.A. Cannon (Contact me at TACannonWriting@gmail.com)

 

References

  1. https://abcnews.go.com/Business/suboxone-maker-reckitt-benckiser-pay-14-billion-largest/story?id=64274260#:~:text=addiction%20treatment%20medication.-,Suboxone%20maker%20Reckitt%20Benckiser%20Group%20(RB%20Group)%20will%20pay%20the,history%2C%20authorities%20said%20on%20Thursday.

 

  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/1352108