It is concerning that the recent research on naltrexone implants in Australia has not followed usual scientific processes. In particular, naltrexone implants have not been subject to the usual rigorous scrutiny required for new drug products seeking registration in this country. Nevertheless, they are available through the TGA Special Access Scheme; there is no requirement for TGA approval for access to unapproved goods in Australia for Category A patients under this Scheme, and no apparent requirement for collection of efficacy or safety data. Supporters of the naltrexone implant have argued that heroin injectors meet the criteria for Category A patients under the Scheme as “persons who are seriously ill with a condition from which death is reasonably likely to occur within a matter of months, or from which premature death is reasonably likely to occur in the absence of early treatment”.
Medical Journal of Australia Vol. 188, Issue 8, p. 438-439