Home > Evaluation of suboxone feasibility study in Ireland.

Create Consultancy. Fitzgerald, Niamh (2013) Evaluation of suboxone feasibility study in Ireland. Dublin: Department of Health.

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An Expert Group was established by the Department to examine the regulatory framework required to facilitate the availability of buprenorphine / naloxone or buprenorphine-only products as an alternative to methadone for the treatment of opioid dependency. The Group's recommendations in relation to the future use of such products in Ireland, taking into account a report by Create Consultancy Ltd evaluating a feasibility study on their use in the Irish context, have been forwarded to the HSE with a request that the HSE revert to the Minister for Primary Care with proposals for the Recommendations' implementation.

The aim of this evaluation was: To review the use of Suboxone in the Irish context. The evaluation was specific to the use of Suboxone for the treatment of opioid dependence. The evaluation did not consider the use of buprenorphine products for pain relief.

The specific objectives of the evaluation were:
1) To evaluate how patients were selected for participation in the Suboxone feasibility study and how they progressed through it.
2) To examine how the prescribing and dispensing of Suboxone for patients operated in the Irish setting.
3) To consider the practical operation of the feasibility study including prescription writing, the operation of the Suboxone database and the role of key agencies.
4) To identify the core elements of the regulatory framework needed for the safe and appropriate use of Suboxone in the Irish setting.

This study consisted of a mixed method approach including analysis of quantitative records, clinical records and semi‐structured interviews and surveys. The approaches used were designed to capture as far as possible an accurate historical report of what happened as the feasibility study was rolled out and the depth and breadth of opinions, experiences and practices among the staff and patients involved in the feasibility study.

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