Depot Buprenorphine is a new long acting formulation of an existing opioid pharmacotherapy, buprenorphine.
New interim guidelines for depot buprenorphine were developed to provide a framework for clinical decision making by clinicians and consumers in a range of service settings involved in the delivery of treatment with long acting depot buprenorphine products.
The guidelines should be read in conjunction with the NSW Clinical Guidelines: Treatment of Opioid Dependence.
There are two depot buprenorphine products at this time: Buvidal® and Sublocade®
  • Buvidal® is available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1 September 2019 under a s100 Opioid Dependence listing.
  • Sublocade® is in the process of gaining PBS approvals with the Australian Government Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
The TGA approved depot buprenorphine products with a initial restricted access period of a minimum of 6 months. The restriction is to ensure experienced OTP prescribers who work in well supported clinical contexts (hospitals and specialist rehabilitation settings) are delivering this treatment.
Eligibility is limited in the first six months to accredited prescribers who meet both criteria (1) and (2) below:
  1. Specialised skills:
    •  Prescribers in public OTP clinics, including Addictions Medicine specialists, Addiction Psychiatry specialists, VMOs and CMOs, Registrars undertaking placements in Public OTP clinics, or
    •  ​Prescribers in private OTP clinics with at least 5 years continuous accreditation and at least 100 patients
  2.  Providing services in appropriately supported settings – that is, public or private clinics with on-site dispensing that have sufficient clinical/ staffing resources to implement depot buprenorphine.

To register as a Depot Buprenorphine prescriber in the restricted access period please contact Pharmaceutical Regulatory Unit.
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Page Updated: Thursday 12 September 2019
Contact page owner: Centre for Population Health