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CareSource raises concerns after announcing switch from Suboxone to alternative

Posted at 6:27 PM, Feb 08, 2017
A father asks news 5 for help, fearing his son's insurance company was cutting him off. He'd been using a drug called Suboxone to help him kick heroin. They say his insurance sent a letter saying they're not covering the drug anymore.
 
Marty doesn't need to turn on his television to learn about the heroin epidemic. "Kids just right in the neighborhood that I watch grow up, they're dead" said Marty. The drug eventually arriving at his front door, grabbing a hold of Marty's own son. "He went to jail when he came out he started using again because there was no follow up program" said Marty. But now Marty says his son has found a program that works and he's been clean for six months.
 
"He has to go to so many meetings, he has to take the Suboxone" said Marty. Marty says his son's insurance provider, CareSource, covered his prescriptions. But last month his son got a letter in the mail alerting him the company was making some changes. "Telling him that they are going to cut off the drugs that are opioid blockers" said Marty.
 
To help Marty get answers, we contacted CareSource and they tell us they are not eliminating treatment options just offering alternatives.  "At CareSource we are moving from the brand name treatment options to a generic" said Francine Robinson, CareSource spokeswoman.
 
CareSource says the generic Suboxone, Zubsolv and Bunavail have the same ingredients as the brand name. "No one facing opioid dependency is losing treatment" said Robinson.
 
CareSource says that the generic medications are FDA approved and have met rigorous standards.
 
Full CareSource statement: 

Drug treatment therapy for CareSource members facing opioid dependency is not going away. CareSource is providing its members with an alternative treatment that is safe, effective and has the same active ingredient as the brand named drugs. Generic medications are FDA approved and have met rigorous standards. Receiving a generic medication instead of a brand name is not unusual.

At CareSource, we administer government health programs such as Medicaid and we make it a priority to manage costs. If a member facing drug dependency has questions or needs assistance we encourage them to contact their doctor. If any viewers are impacted by this change from the brand medication to the generic please contact your health care provider to avoid a disruption in treatment. Immediate help – call united way 211 to locate addiction resources in your area.