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    Private Equity Firms Gain Outsize Control of Substance Use Disorder Treatment Industry

    Private equity firms have acquired stakes in almost one-third of all methadone clinics in the United States in recent years, according to an investigation by STAT. This gives the firms outsize control of the substance use disorder treatment industry.

    A small number of financial institutions now have an ownership stake in 526 opioid treatment programs (OTPs) across the country, the investigation found. In the past two years, large treatment clinic chains backed by private equity firms have launched a lobbying campaign designed to preserve their exclusive rights to dispense methadone.

    Currently patients can only obtain methadone at a specialized clinic. They usually have to return each day to receive a single dose. An increasing number of legislators, patients, public health experts and the American Medical Association want to expand availability of methadone outside of OTPs, the article notes. The clinics say this is unwise, citing potential unintended consequences and concerns about safety. Advocates of increasing methadone access say the clinics are more concerned with the profits of the clinic chains and the private equity firms that back them.


    March 2024