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Old May 16th, 2018, 08:55 AM   #1
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To Grow Market Share, A Drugmaker Pitches Its Product To Judges

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Late last year, Kirby was driving with drugs and a syringe in his car when he got pulled over. He went to jail for a few months on a separate charge before entering a drug court program in Hamilton County, Ind., north of Indianapolis. But before Kirby started, he says the court pressured him to get a shot of a drug called Vivitrol.

Vivitrol is a monthly injection of naltrexone, which blocks opioid receptors in the brain. It's one of three medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating opioid addiction. While it's effective in some people, it's not for everyone. Patients have to be ready to be opioid-free, and some patients won't do well on it. It can also have side effects, which Kirby says he experienced.

"I had sinus problems, chest problems for the whole month I was on it," Kirby says. "I couldn't shake it."

He says he also got a rash another possible reaction to Vivitrol, according to the product's warnings. Months after he had the shot, he still had white splotches on his arms, which he attributed to the drug. But even with those symptoms, Kirby says the court urged him to stick with the medication for a couple of more months. "They were way too pushy about it," he says.




More than 130,000 Americans will go through drug courts this year, according to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. Drug courts are designed to allow some people whose crimes stem from addiction to get treatment instead of jail time. But the treatment that is offered varies from court to court and is entirely at the judge's discretion.

Some courts offer participants a full range of evidence-based treatment, including medication-assisted treatment. Others don't allow addiction medications at all. And some permit just one: Vivitrol.





https://www.npr.org/sections/health-...duct-to-judges
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Old May 16th, 2018, 08:58 AM   #2
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Prime targets for marketing


One reason for this preference is that Alkermes, the drug's manufacturer, is doing something nearly unheard of for a pharmaceutical company: It is marketing directly to drug court judges and other officials.


The strategy capitalizes on a market primed to prefer their product. Judges, prosecutors and other criminal justice officials can be suspicious of the other FDA-approved addiction medications, buprenorphine and methadone, because they are themselves opioids. Alkermes promotes its product as "nonaddictive."


The argument worked for Judge Lewis Gregory, who heads the city court in Greenwood, Ind. About a year and a half ago, Gregory didn't allow participants to start on addiction medications while in the program. "We were failing miserably with the heroin population," he says.




https://www.npr.org/sections/health-...duct-to-judges
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Old May 16th, 2018, 09:04 AM   #3
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Ohio's spending on opioid addiction treatment drugs Vivitrol and Suboxone spikes

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Judges, doctors and lawmakers on the front lines of the opioid addiction crisis have a problem: Three types of medications are available to help the estimated 200,000 Ohioans struggling to recover from addiction and yet there are no clear answers as to which, if any, drug works best.

The skyrocketing demand for treatment has spurred competition among drugmakers for a piece of the growing market, which in Ohio is worth well over $100 million a year in public money alone.

The fastest-growing medication has the shortest track record and the highest price: Vivitrol , a monthly shot that blocks receptors in the brain so that a person can't feel the euphoria or high from opioids.

In 2012, Ohio Medicaid paid for 100 doses of the injectable medication. Last year, it paid for over 30,000 doses -- at a cost of more than $38 million.




http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index...ents_work.html
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Old May 16th, 2018, 09:08 AM   #4
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A Drugmaker Tries To Cash In On The Opioid Epidemic, One State Law At A Time



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Two years ago, a mental health advocate named Steve McCaffrey stood at a lectern in the Indiana statehouse, testifying in favor of an addiction treatment bill. After years of rising overdose rates, lawmakers in the health committee were taking action to combat the opioid epidemic. And they often turned to McCaffrey, who leads Mental Health America of Indiana, to advise them.

His brief testimony appeared straightforward. "We rise in support, urge your adoption," said McCaffrey. He said the legislation would move the state "toward evidence-based treatment."


But the bill wouldn't do that. Instead, it would cement rules making it harder to access certain addiction medications — medications that many patients rely on. The goal was to steer doctors toward a specific brand-name drug: Vivitrol.



State Rep. Steve Davisson, the bill's sponsor, says McCaffrey helped write the bill, one of many related to addiction treatment that McCaffrey has worked on since 2015. But there was something important that Davisson and other lawmakers didn't know about him.

State lobbying records show that McCaffrey lobbies for Alkermes, the company that makes Vivitrol.

Asked earlier this year whether Indiana lawmakers knew about his lobbying for Alkermes, McCaffrey said, "I imagine some do and some don't." But several lawmakers who have worked closely with McCaffrey, including Davisson, say they were not aware.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-...-law-at-a-time
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Old May 16th, 2018, 10:48 AM   #5
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YUP YUP YUP. Typical big bidniss !!! Market an addictive drug to millions. Then once they're all addicted, SELL the supposed SOLUTION to the problem they themselves created.
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