Pain, which is comprised of over 128 different kinds of pain, is one of the most significant healthcare problems. It impacts hundreds of millions of people across the world, profoundly affecting their quality of life and costing society countless billions of dollars in treatment and lost productivity.
· 20% of the global adult population suffers from moderate to severe chronic pain*.
· 1 in 10 adults is newly diagnosed with chronic pain each year*.
· 100 Million Americans suffer from chronic pain - more than diabetes, chronic heart disease, and cancer combined*.
Pain is the most common reason patients go to see the doctor. A recent European survey found that chronic pain occurs in nearly 20% of adult Europeans and in one third of Americans.**
While chronic pain is a significant health care problem, it is also a major social problem that seriously affects the quality of people’s social and working lives. The impact of pain includes difficulties with basic everyday activities such as walking, dressing and sleeping, and extends to depression, job loss and family breakdown.
The treatment of pain is insufficient. Very few pain sufferers are managed by pain specialists. In fact, almost 50% receive inadequate pain management and relie on over-the-counter medication. Where patients do have access to chronic pain treatment, they face potential risks including developing drug tolerance, increased sensitivity to pain, and dependence on opioid medications.
Today, pain can be broken down into over 128 different types of pain. There are myriad marketed and pipeline drugs focused on general as well as on specific types of pain. In addition, the development pipeline is replete with drug candidates that promise to treat specific types of pain without the adverse and addictive properties of opioids. This promises improved pain management … however, like in cardiovascular disease, not every patient will react the same to each medication. Therefore, for the foreseeable future, there will always be a role for opioid therapy in pain treatment.
Opioids are the most prescribed medications for the treatment of both acute and chronic pain. Opioids were originally used to treat cancer-related pain. However, their use has expanded over the past 15 years to the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain. This led to the opioid epidemic, see Opioid Emergency. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledges that opioids are an important medication for the treatment of pain. They are also committed to addressing the “Opioid Emergency”. To this end, the FDA is/has emphasized the importance of developing abuse deterrent opioids formulations to assure that such medications remain available for use in appropriate patients.
At ACCOY, we are diligently working to bring opioids that prevent or deter overdose, misuse, abuse, divergence, and/or accidental ingestion, while simultaneously enabling better pain and patient management, to market. The NIH described our opioids as 'the next generation of abuse deterrent opioids' and the FDA is encouraging there development. While not for every patient, our opioids go a long way to safely making opioid therapy available to the right patients at the right time at the right dose.
* International Association for the Study of Pain
** The Institute of Medicine (IOM)