An Innovative Treatment for Prescription Pill Abuse

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 (DGIwire) — Rock stars and movie stars are extremely visible and often define trends, fads and the direction of a culture. Take Kurt Cobain as an example. The lead singer of the 90s grunge band Nirvana, Cobain burst onto the music scene wearing ratty jeans and a flannel shirt, singing about small town angst in a way no one had ever done before. Although Nirvana’s music was unfamiliar and confusing for some, it was a revelation for others, and ultimately started a musical revolution. Unfortunately, Cobain isn’t around to enjoy his fame. Cobain’s legacy, though, was twofold. Not only did he define a generation with his music, but his untimely death due to heroin overdose also left a mark on that generation.

Cobain isn’t the only celebrity to succumb to a drug overdose—far from it. The lives of Whitney Houston, Heath Ledger, Anna Nicole Smith and Michael Jackson were cut short due to their reliance on drugs, most of which were legal, prescription drugs. Misuse of prescription drugs, particularly opioids and painkillers, affects not only celebrities but also millions of ordinary people every day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day in the United States, 113 people die as a result of drug overdose, and another 6,748 are treated in emergency departments for the misuse or abuse of prescription drugs.

One company has a mission to help mitigate this growing opioid addiction epidemic and has developed a new product to carry out its ambitious goal.  BioDelivery Sciences International (BDSI), a specialty pharmaceutical company based in Raleigh, NC, has developed Bunavail™. The drug uses BDSI’s proprietary BioErodible MucoAdhesive (BEMA®) delivery technology for the maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. Bunavail was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Bunavail is the first and only formulation of buprenorphine and naloxone for buccal (inside of the cheek) administration.

Dr. Mark A. Sirgo, President and CEO of BDSI, says, “FDA approval for Bunavail clears the way for commercialization of a product that we believe might serve as an effective new tool in the battle against this problem.”

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