Objective: This study examined buprenorphine prescription uptake and expenditure trends among privately insured adults from 2003 to 2015 to inform efforts to expand opioid use disorder treatment. Methods: A study with a repeated cross-sectional design using MarketScan prescription claims data was conducted to describe trends in total and new buprenorphine use and median total, plan, and out-of-pocket expenditures for a 30-day buprenorphine prescription among privately insured adults from 2003 to 2015. Results: New and total buprenorphine users increased dramatically from 2003 to 2013 and plateaued. Total buprenorphine spending was stable from 2003 to 2008, increased from 2009 to 2013, and declined from 2013 to 2015. Out-of-pocket expenditures steadily decreased from $67 in 2003 to $32 in 2015 for a 30-day prescription. Conclusions: Buprenorphine treatment costs were stable for health plans and declined for privately insured adults since 2003. Identifying remaining barriers to addressing the opioid addiction treatment gap is a priority.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health