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Current and future options for opioid use disorder: a survey assessing real-world opinion of service users on novel therapies including depot formulations of buprenorphine

Authors Gilman M, Li L, Hudson K, Lumley T, Myers G, Corte C, Littlewood R

Received 18 July 2018

Accepted for publication 28 August 2018

Published 11 October 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 2123—2129


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Mark Gilman,1 Li Li,2 Kerrie Hudson,3 Tara Lumley,2 Georgia Myers,2 Camilla Corte,2 Richard Littlewood2

1Discovering Health, Manchester, UK; 2Applied Strategic, London, UK; 3The Well Communities CIC, Lancaster, UK

Purpose: Integrated treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) includes opioid agonist therapy (OAT) such as methadone and buprenorphine with well-evidenced benefits. Treatment with typical existing oral medications is associated with burdens and limits to successful outcomes (frequent dosing, attendance for collection/consumption, difficulty in achieving optimal dosing, misuse, diversion, accidental exposure, and stigma from the treatment process). Novel medications include injected depot formulations with less frequent administration, providing consistent drug levels after dosing. This survey assesses the opinion of those with OUD treatment services lived experience to inform future medication choices.
Patients and methods: A survey of people with experience of OUD pharmacotherapy – the treatment system – was completed. Participants reviewed statements describing elements of OUD care using 7-point Likert scales to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement. Data were assessed using descriptive analysis.
Results: In total, 35 people (16 in treatment; 19 with previous history of treatment) completed the survey. Average drug-use duration, 20 years, commonly included injected opioids. The majority agreed treatment was effective, but not tailored to their individual needs and limited normal day-to-day activities. Opinions on novel depot medications included the following: agreement on its potential to make life easier, reduce stigma, free-up time for preferred activities. Participants did not report concerns over the effectiveness and safety of depot medications, nor about reduced contact with treatment services that could be associated with less frequent dosing.
Conclusion: This survey provides a useful initial record of the opinions of people experienced in OUD treatment services on novel depot medications, which may result in important benefits. Care providers and policy makers should continue to work with those with lived experience to understand the specific opportunity provided by such innovation.

Keywords: opioid agonist therapy, lived experience, innovation

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