In 2011 NHMRC reviewed studies relating to the effectiveness of naltrexone implants for the treatment of opioid dependence, determining the implants remain an experimental product, only to be used in a research setting. NHMRC believes further research is required before a statement on safety can be confidently made.

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NHMRC does not play a role in the regulation of the clinical use of naltrexone. Relevant agencies may choose to draw on the evidence presented in the Literature Review and take action as they see appropriate.

Background to the literature review

In 2010, NHMRC staff evaluated the published scientific evidence relating to the use of Naltrexone implants due to public and professional interest in this topic. While this was not a full systematic literature review, the rigor and methodology are clearly set out in the published document.

The resulting draft literature review was considered by an expert reference group convened by NHMRC and was subjected to independent peer review. The literature review was updated to incorporate the peer review and reference group comments. In March 2011, NHMRC Council considered the literature review and recommended to the CEO that he release the review on the NHMRC website.

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