Since being introduced in 2002, Suboxone has surpassed well-known drugs like Viagra in annual sales, exceeding over $1.5 billion in 2012. The rapid rise in sales of the drug is due to the explosion of opioid abuse, as well as the fact that it can be prescribed by private physicians and opioid treatment clinics.
- State Medicaid offices spent $857 million on Suboxone treatment over the three-year period ending in 2012.
- Over 1,350 of the almost 13,000 doctors authorized to prescribe Suboxone have been sanctioned for abusive practices including overprescribing the drug and practicing medicine while impaired, a rate about ten times higher than for other doctors.
- In 2011, over 21,000 emergency room visits were due to Suboxone abuse, a 500% increase in just five years.
- In 2012, doctors wrote over 9 million Suboxone prescriptions.