The French experience--the pharmacist, general practitioner and patient perspective

Eur Addict Res. 1998:4 Suppl 1:19-23. doi: 10.1159/000052037.


High-dose buprenorphine (Subutex(R)) has been available in France as a maintenance treatment since February 1996. Results from a twice yearly survey of pharmacists, general practitioners (GPs) and patients themselves in the use of Subutex(R) appeared to be representative of the general substitution therapy situation in France. Results from May 1997 were encouraging, with improved relationships between pharmacists and patients, and GPs and patients being reported in all three surveys. The most commonly prescribed dosage of buprenorphine (6-8 mg) was within the recommended range, although there was evidence that this was usually taken as several daily intakes by the majority of addicts. Although intravenous injection may occur in some cases, illicit resale was suspected only in a few cases. Treatment efficacy was high and retention at six months was good since patients had a positive opinion of their treatment and reported few adverse effects. Further improvement in the relationships between GPs and pharmacists is desirable to increase the success of the treatment programme.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Buprenorphine / therapeutic use*
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Narcotics / therapeutic use*
  • Patient Care Team
  • Pharmacy
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Narcotics
  • Buprenorphine