Scottish Medicines Consortium accepts Buvidal® for treatment of opioid dependence

Graphic of Scotland with the Scottish flag over the top to show AstraZeneca and MSD's Lynparza™ now available in Scotland

The Scottish Medicines Consortium has accepted weekly and monthly Buvidal® for treatment of opioid dependence in NHS Scotland.

Camurus has welcomed the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) decision to accept Buvidal® (buprenorphine prolonged-release solution for subcutaneous injection) for restricted use in NHS Scotland for the treatment of opioid dependence within a framework of medical, social and psychological treatment, in adults and adolescents aged 16 years or over.

Buvidal® injections, administered weekly or monthly, were approved by the European Commission in November 2018 based on safety and efficacy data from a comprehensive global development program comprising seven clinical studies, including a randomised, double-blind, double-dummy, active controlled Phase 3 study. Results from this study demonstrated that Buvidal® provided improved treatment outcomes compared to daily standard treatment with sublingual buprenorphine/naloxone.

Last year in Scotland there were a record 1,187 deaths from drug overdoses, representing a 27% increase on the previous year and the highest since records began in 1996. The majority of these deaths (86%) resulted from overdosing with opioids. Scotland’s drug-related death rate is almost three times higher than that of the UK as a whole.

The potential for Buvidal® to contribute to the reduction of opioid overdoses is described in the Buvidal® European Public Assessment Report that stated that compared to current standard treatment, due to its administration by healthcare professionals, prolonged buprenorphine release with fewer fluctuations and more stable levels, and rapid and sustained blockade of the effects of exogenously administered opioids, Buvidal® is expected to protect patients from illicit opioid use and potentially result in fewer occurrences of opioid overdoses.

Additionally, as Buvidal® is administered by a healthcare professional this effectively eliminates the risks of medication misuse and diversion by patients as well as accidental paediatric exposure.