Public Health Message from the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health
Date: November 28, 2017
Topic: Prior Authorization for Suboxone Pills and the Bridge
Starting Dec. 1, patients on Indiana’s Healthy Indiana Plan will have an easier time getting certain opioid addiction medications. The four insurers that manage plans for Indiana’s Medicaid program, HIP 2.0, are eliminating an administrative hurdle that can cause patients to wait days to receive their prescription, leaving them vulnerable to relapse and overdose.
On Friday, the Indiana Medicaid Drug Utilization Review Board agreed to remove prior authorizations for preferred versions of the addiction treatment medication, a combination of buprenorphine and an abuse-deterrent component called naloxone.
Representatives from the four insurers that operate Indiana’s Medicaid program — Anthem, CareSource, MDWise and MHS — presented the plan to the board, and also explained that they would make generic tablets the preferred form of the medication, rather than the brand name Suboxone films currently preferred by most HIP 2.0 insurers. The films can be sold on the street and are often confiscated in prisons and jails because the strips are easy to smuggle in. Under the new rules, which begin December 1, film versions of the medication would still require a prior authorization.
THE BRIDGE – NON-PHARMACEUTICAL TREATMENT OF WITHDRAWAL
INDIANA – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave clearance today for a neurological device with an indication to aid in the reduction of opioid withdrawal symptoms. The NSS-2 BRIDGE device, pioneered by Indiana-based medical technology firm Innovative Health Solutions, Inc. (IHS), is placed behind the ear with micro-needle arrays, that percutaneously implant in and around the ear. Research study results of the technology show an 84.6 percent reduction of withdrawal symptoms in as little as 60 minutes. The NSS-2 Bridge System is a Patented Technology and is Rx (Prescription) only.
Withdrawal symptoms from opioids can manifest quickly and include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, anxiety and sleeplessness. Most often these symptoms are so painful and overwhelming, people turn back to opioids after only a few hours.
With this FDA clearance, doctors will now be able to prescribe treatment using the NSS-2 BRIDGE device to patients who are in withdrawal, along with patients suffering from PAWS. This FDA clearance makes the device eligible for insurance coverage as soon as states and commercial carriers adopt the technology.
Click here for more information about the NSS-2 BRIDGE device and its treatment benefits.