Author Interviews, Cleveland Clinic, Orthopedics, Pain Research, Surgical Research / 01.08.2017 Interview with: Michael A. Mont, MD Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Cleveland Clinic Cleveland, OH What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Postoperative pain after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is a major hurdle for both the patients and the orthopaedists. Many analgesic modalities are currently in use, and can be used alone or in combination in order to augment their effect. Addition of local anesthetic analgesia has been shown to improve pain control and reduce opioid consumption during postoperative period. However, the effects of this analgesia tend to dissipate with time, with the longest duration of action (bupivacaine) of approximately 12 hours. Therefore, long acting local anesthetic (liposomal bupivacaine) has been developed in order to expand the duration of effectiveness of pain relief for up to 96 hours. Many studies evaluated the effectiveness of this anesthetic and demonstrated contradictory results, however, they did not use the same methods and infiltration technique. Therefore, we conducted a prospective, randomized, double-blind, controlled study at 16 hospitals using optimal infiltration techniques. Our study demonstrated significant improvement in pain, decreased opioid consumption, increased time to first opioid rescue, more opioid free patients in liposomal bupivacaine cohort. In addition, there were no unexpected safety concerns. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, Pain Research, Primary Care / 17.07.2017 Interview with: Jane M. Liebschutz, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Medicine Section of General Internal Medicine Boston University School of Medicine Boston, Massachusetts What is the background for this study? Response: The number of patients receiving opioids for chronic pain has risen over the past 2 decades in the US, in parallel with an increase in opioid use disorder. The CDC and professional medical societies have created clinical guidelines to improve the safety of opioid prescribing, yet individual prescribers can find them onerous to implement. We developed an intervention to change clinical practice to support primary care physicians who prescribe the majority of opioids for chronic pain. The intervention included 4 elements- a nurse care manager to help assess, educate and monitor patients, an electronic registry to keep track of patient data and produce physician level reports, an individualized educational session for the physician by an opioid prescribing expert based on the physician-specific practice information and online resources to help with decision-making for opioid prescribing ( We tested whether the intervention would improve adherence to guidelines, decrease opioid doses and decrease early refills, as a marker of potential prescription opioid misuse among 985 patients of 53 primary care clinicians in four primary care practices. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pain Research / 04.07.2017 Interview with: Esther Maas, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow Partnership for Work, Health and Safety School of Population and Public Health University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC What is the background for this study? Esther Maas, PhD Chronic low back pain causes more disability than any other condition, and has major social and economic consequences. Radiofrequency denervation is a commonly used treatment in pain clinics for a subgroup of patients with chronic low back pain resulting from anatomical structures such as facet joints, sacroiliac joint and intervertebral disc. Radiofrequency denervation uses an electric current that damages the innervating nerve of the painful structure. Despite its frequent application, until now, there was only very low quality and conflicting evidence for its effectiveness. The aim of this study was to establish whether radiofrequency denervation in addition to a standardized exercise program is more effective than the standardized exercise program alone in the selected subgroup of patients with chronic low back pain. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pain Research, Rheumatology, Sleep Disorders / 20.06.2017 Interview with: Atul A. Deodhar, MD, MRCP, FACP, FACR Professor of Medicine Medical Director, Rheumatology Clinics Medical Director, Immunology Infusion Center Oregon Health & Science University What is the background for this study? Response: The GO-ALIVE study (CNTO148AKS3001) is a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of golimumab, an anti-TNFα monoclonal antibody, administered intravenously (IV), in adult patients with active ankylosing spondylitis (AS). The primary objective is to evaluate the efficacy of golimumab 2 mg/kg in patients with active AS by assessing the reduction in signs and symptoms of AS. The secondary objectives include assessing efficacy related to improving physical function, range of motion, health-related quality of life, and other health outcomes. A total of 208 patients who had a diagnosis of definite  ankylosing spondylitis (per modified New York criteria) and Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) ≥4, total back pain visual analogue scale (VAS) ≥4, and CRP ≥0.3 mg/dL were randomized.  Patients were treated with IV golimumab (n=105) at Weeks 0, 4, and every 8 weeks through Week 52 or placebo (n=103) at Weeks 0, 4, and 12, with crossover to IV golimumab at Week 16 and through Week 52. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Heart Disease, Pain Research, Pharmacology / 10.05.2017 Interview with: Michèle Bally, BPharm, MSc, PhD Epidemiologist, Department of Pharmacy, CHUM Researcher, Health Innovation and Evaluation Hub, CRCHUM What is the background for this study? Response: The objective of this study was to better understand the risk of heart attack associated with using oral prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (ibuprofen, diclofenac, celecoxib, and naproxen) the way people usually do to treat pain and inflammation in real life circumstances. A lot of people take medication, but they do not understand that some can be more harmful than beneficial, especially with consistent use. Unfortunately, something like a heart attack can happen anywhere. You could be at work and show signs of an attack. If this does happen, hopefully you have someone who is first aid trained to at least help you deal with these symptoms, until you get to the hospital. This is why having someone who knows that they are doing is beneficial in any environment. If it wasn't for companies like Coast2Coast in Ottawa, the chances of someone who was suffering from a heart attack may not have made it to the hospital if it wasn't for the assistance of someone who was first aid trained. In clinical trials, NSAIDs were typically taken on a continuous basis in high standardized doses, as assigned by the trial protocol. However, the dosages and the treatment durations studied in trials may not represent the reality of many patients who use NSAIDs in low or varying doses, use these drugs on and off, or switch between NSAID medications. We were particularly interested in determining the onset of the risk, that is how soon does the risk of heart attack start increasing? Also, we wanted to investigate the effect of dose and duration of treatment. To do this, we studied the use of a low or high dose level of NSAIDs over certain set periods of time, including taking these medications only for 1 to 7 days. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, Pain Research, Surgical Research / 03.05.2017 Interview with: Chad M. Brummett, M.D. Associate Professor Director, Clinical Anesthesia Research Director, Pain Research Department of Anesthesiology Division of Pain Medicine University of Michigan Medical School Ann Arbor, MI  48109 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The opioid epidemic has received tremendous attention in recent years, but most of the focus has been on chronic pain, opioid abuse and overdose. Far less attention has been paid to the importance of acute care prescribing (e.g. surgical pain) in patients that are not chronic opioid users. We found that 5-6% of patients not using opioids prior to surgery continued to fill prescriptions for opioids long after what would be considered normal surgical recovery. Moreover, the rates of new chronic use did not differ between patients having major and minor surgeries, suggesting that patients continue to use these pain medications for something other than simply pain from surgery. Building on other work by our group, and the few additional studies done on the topic to date, these data suggest that pain medications written for surgery are a major cause of new chronic opioid use for millions of Americans each year. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pain Research, Pharmacology, UT Southwestern / 01.05.2017 Interview with: Una Makris MD, MSc Clinical Investigator at the VA North Texas Health System VA North Texas Health Care System Assistant Professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center Departments on Internal Medicine and Clinical Sciences Dr. Makris is a Rheumatologist, clinically, and spends the majority of time focused on clinical research investigating how to improve outcomes for adults with back pain. What is the background for this study? Response: Back pain is the most common type of musculoskeletal (MSK) pain. We know that expenditures for back pain exceed $100 billion each year (and this was in 2005). Back pain results in tremendous disability (including reduced mobility) and impaired quality of life (not exclusive to physical consequences, but also including important psychosocial repercussions). We also know that statins are prescribed very often, and frequently in younger populations who are active. Some reports suggest that statins may have a protective effect on  musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pain Research / 18.04.2017 Interview with: Paul Shekelle, MD PhD MPH Chief of General internal Medicine VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Back pain is one of the commonest symptoms for adult patients to seek health care. For a number of years now, VA has had chiropractic care integrated into the ambulatory care available at many large VA medical centers. Most patients referred from VA primary care to chiropractic clinic have chronic back pain. VA was interested in an evidence synthesis of the use of spinal manipulative therapy in acute low back pain. Spinal manipulative therapy is a manual technique delivered by almost all chiropractors, but also delivered by some physical therapists, osteopathic physicians, and some medical doctors. The main findings are that spinal manipulative therapy is associated with, on average, a modest beneficial effect on pain and function. However, there are large difference sin outcome across studies, and this suggests that some patients may respond much better, and other may respond not at all. (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods, Pain Research / 19.03.2017 Interview with: Dr. Sommer Hammoud MD ABOS Board Certified Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery Thomas Jefferson University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background for this exhibit stemmed from the growing problem of prescription opioid abuse in the United States.  As we saw this issue developing, we aimed to investigate the history behind this epidemic, what information we have now to fight it, and what information we need in the future to improve care our patients. Our main findings for each of those aims are the following: 1) It would appear that a large push at the end of the last century led to a lower threshold to prescribe opiates in the effort to control pain, leading to the current opioid epidemic 2) Mulitmodal methods of pain control and the expanding skill of regional anesthesia can be used to help decrease narcotic use and thus limit exposure to narcotics, and 3) Future research needs to focus on the psychologic aspect of patients' ability to manage pain and we should strive to be able to categorize patients in order to create an individualized pain management protocol which will most effectively manage pain. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Opiods, Pain Research / 19.03.2017 Interview with: Anuj Shah (B.Pharm) Doctoral Student Division of Pharmaceutical Evaluation and Policy University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences What is the background for this study? Response: The CDC guideline on opioid prescribing, published in March 2016, included recommendations for initiation of opioid therapy. The guideline noted that there is a lack of data describing how acute opioid use transitions to long-term opioid use. This report seeks to address this gap by determining characteristics of initial opioid prescribing prognostic of long-term use, among opioid naïve cancer-free adults. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pain Research, Stroke / 08.03.2017 Interview with: Alessandro Pezzini, MD, FESO Professore Associato di Neurologia Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Sperimentali Clinica Neurologica Università degli Studi di Brescia Italia What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Scarce reports have suggested that a relation might exist between migraine and cervical artery dissection (CEAD), the most frequent cause of ischemic stroke in young adults in Western countries. However, data available so far were obtained from few studies conducted on small cohorts of patients, which limits the generalizability of their findings. In our study we analysed the data from the Italian Project on Stroke in Young Adults (IPSYS) project, one of the largest registries of young ischemic stroke patients, and observed that migraine, especially the subtype without aura was strongly and independently associated to CEAD. This seems particularly true for men and for people younger than 39 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Electronic Records, Opiods, Pain Research / 07.03.2017 Interview with: Michelle S. Keller, MPH, PhD Candidate Health Policy and Management Cedars-Sinai Los Angeles CA 90048 What is the background for this new funding award? Response: Research shows that treating and managing chronic pain is tough, and it can be hard for patients and their physicians to be on the same page. Chronic pain touches so many facets of people’s lives—relationships, mental health, sleep, work—that treating it in a 15-minute visit can lead to a lot of frustration and disappointment. Our hope is that by arming patients and clinicians with evidence-based tools, we can help foster a better dialogue about what is ultimately important to patients, how to achieve fully functional lives while managing chronic pain. We’re testing two different types of communication tools: electronic health record alerts pointing physicians to guidelines when they write opioid prescriptions and patient portal-based tools that can help patients prepare for visits and become active, engaged partners in their care. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Johns Hopkins, Pain Research / 24.02.2017 Interview with: Xinzhong Dong PhD The Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience and Center for Sensory Biology Howard Hughes Medical Institute Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, MD 21205 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It is a puzzle that troubles the field for many years that how pain and itch, two closely related sensations (once thought as one sensation), are differentiated by the nervous systems. Coding of pain and itch are heatedly debated for decades. The current specificity theory suggests that these two kinds of signals are carried by separate pathways, with some interactions, for example pain can inhibit itch and that explains why we all scratch to inhibit pain. It is true in the periphery (our previous study indicate a small population of neurons in the periphery only codes for itch sensation), but now our study suggests that there could be more crosstalk between these two sensations in the central than we expected. People might not notice in real life, but in human psychophysical studies, well-isolated experimental environments, when human subjects are given itchy substances, they typically report intense itch sensations accompanied by minor noxious sensations, such as pricking, stinging and burning. Our new leaky gate model suggest in certain circumstances intense itch signals can trigger minor pain sensations, which can explain such phenomenon. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Pain Research, Telemedicine / 21.02.2017 Interview with: Rachel Nelligan, BPhysio Physiotherapist & Research Physiotherapist Department of Physiotherapy | Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine The University of Melbourne Victoria Australia What is the background for this study? Response: This novel study investigated the efficacy of an internet delivered model of service delivery that combined online education, Skype delivered exercise physiotherapy and an Internet-based interactive pain coping skills training program for people with persistent knee pain. Osteoarthritis, the leading cause of chronic knee pain and disability globally, has a significant individual, societal and economic burden. On an individual level knee osteoarthritis causes loss of function, reduced quality of life, and psychological distress. Clinical guidelines recommend adoption of a biopsychosocial approach to management which should include nondrug, nonsurgical treatments. Specifically exercise, education and psychological interventions (including pain coping skills training (PCST)) that foster self-management are recommended. Evidence identifies that many knee OA sufferers are not receiving adequate management due in part to challenges of accessing these effective treatments. There is an urgent need for new models of health service delivery to rectify this. Tele-rehabilitation is growing in acceptance as an effective, time efficient and convenient means for people to access effective health interventions. In knee OA internet delivered interventions specifically remotely delivered physiotherapy exercise using specialised tele-rehabilitation equipment and an Internet-based interactive PCST program (PainCOACH), designed to translate key therapeutic elements of clinician-delivered face-to-face PCST, have shown improved patient outcomes. Prior to this study the combination of these two internet-based treatments has not been investigated. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pain Research / 14.02.2017 Interview with: Dan Cherkin PhD Emeritus Senior Investigator Group Health Research Institute Seattle, WA 98101 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We previously reported the results of a randomized trial examining the effectiveness of Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for persons with chronic low back pain (Cherkin et al, JAMA, March 22, 2016). The current report examines whether the relative effectiveness of these approaches compared with usual care that we found after one year were still evident after two years. We found that there was little decrease in the magnitude of the effects of both MBSR and CBT between one and two years, but the two-year outcomes were statistically significant only for chronic low back pain. As previously reported for outcomes up to one year, there were no significant differences in outcomes between CBT and MBSR. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pain Research, Radiation Therapy / 14.02.2017 Interview with: Rachel McDonald, MD(C) Department of Radiation Oncology Odette Cancer Centre Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Toronto, Ontario, Canada What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Radiation treatment has been demonstrated in numerous studies to provide effective and timely pain relief to those suffering from painful bone metastases. However, as a palliative treatment, the goal should be not only to reduce pain but also to maintain and even improve quality of life. To date, studies have not effectively demonstrated this; most of these have included either small sample sizes or utilize questionnaires that aren’t tailored to the palliative cancer population with bone metastases. We aimed to determine how soon after radiation treatment one can expect an improvement in quality of life. Our results showed that patients who had a pain response to radiation also had significantly greater improvements in pain, pain characteristics, functional interference, and psychosocial aspects of well-being at day 10 post-treatment. Further improvements in most domains of quality of life were found for responders at day 42. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Orthopedics, Pain Research, Surgical Research / 08.02.2017 Interview with: Jonas Bloch Thorlund Associate Professor (MSc, PhD) Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics Research Unit for Musculoskeletal Function and Physiotherapy University of Southern Denmark What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy is a very common knee surgery. Research evidence has seriously questioned the effect of this type of surgery for degenerative meniscal tears in middle-aged and older patients. Most young patients with traumatic meniscal injury (from sports or similar) also undergo this type of surgery. There is a general understanding that young patients with traumatic tears experience larger improvements in patient reported pain, function and quality of life. However, evidence for this presumption is sparse. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Pain Research, Pharmacology / 07.02.2017 Interview with: Dr. Gustavo Machado BPhty (Hons) Cert.MDT The George Institute for Global Health Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney Sydney, New South Wales, Australia What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: People with back pain are usually told by their health care practitioners to take analgesic medications to relieve their pain. But our previous research published in the BMJ showed that paracetamol does not have a measurable impact on patient’s symptoms. This resulted in recent changes in guidelines' recommendations. The 2017 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines/UK no longer recommend paracetamol as a stand-alone intervention for back pain. So now non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are recommended as the analgesic of first choice. However, our results show that compared to placebo, commonly used NSAIDs, such as Ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen) and Diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren), provide only small benefits for people with back pain while increasing the risk of gastrointestinal adverse effects by 2.5 times. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, End of Life Care, Opiods, Pain Research / 21.01.2017 Interview with: Dr. Katherine Irene Pettus, PhD, OSB Advocacy Officer International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care Vice Chair, Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs Secretary NGO Committee on Ageing, Geneva What is the background for this study? Response: The background for this study is analysis of the three international drug control treaties, official attendance and participation at meetings of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs for the past four years, ongoing discussion of national opioid consumption rates with INCB, and years of home hospice visits in developing countries. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Pain Research, Stroke / 13.01.2017 Interview with: Dr. Matthias Eikermann, MD, PhD Associate Professor of Anaesthesia Harvard Medical School Clinical Director, Critical Care Division What is the background for this study? Response: Up to one fifth of the general population have migraine, a primary, chronic-intermittent headache disorder affecting the neuronal and vascular systems and characterized by severe headache accompanied by nausea and/or sensory hypersensitivities such as photophobia and phonophobia. In approximately 20-30% of patients, the headache phase is preceded or accompanied by transient focal neurological disturbances presenting as visual symptoms but also sensory, aphasic, or motor symptoms known as migraine aura. Stroke is responsible for approximately 6.2 million deaths a year and is a leading global cause of long term disability. Considering that more than 50 million patients in hospital and 53 million ambulatory patients undergo surgical procedures in the United States every year. We found that patients with migraine, particularly migraine with aura, undergoing a surgical procedure are at increased risk of perioperative ischemic stroke and readmission to hospital within 30 days after discharge. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nature, Pain Research, Vitamin D / 09.01.2017 Interview with: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Formation of vitamin D in the skin with UVB light from the sun is a main source of vitamin D during summer months, but in the winter months the UVB light is too weak for vitamin D production. Headache prevalence has been suggested to be related to increasing latitude (less UVB light throughout the year) and possibly to be less prevalent during summer (more UVB light), which suggests a possible role for vitamin D exposure. Some previous small studies have suggested that low serum vitamin D levels might be associated with more frequent headache or migraine. Our study included 2601 men from the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD) from eastern Finland, aged 42-60 years in 1984-1989, which makes it one of the largest studies so far regarding vitamin D and headache. In our study chronic headache (occurring weakly or daily) was reported by 250 men, and men reporting chronic headache had lower serum vitamin D levels than others. When we divided the study population into four groups based on their serum vitamin D levels, the group with the lowest levels had over a twofold risk of chronic headache in comparison to the group with the highest levels. Chronic headache was also more frequently reported by men who were examined outside the summer months of June through September. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pain Research, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 13.12.2016 Interview with:

Dr. Anna Taddio PhD Professor in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy University of Toronto Adjunct senior scientist and clinical pharmacist at SickKids What is the background for this study? Response: We do not know enough about how well different pain interventions work over time and when combined together. In this study, we compared the effectiveness of interventions when layered together, starting from simplest to most complicated in terms of implementation, in the first year of life in infants undergoing routine vaccinations. We compared 4 different treatments: 1. placebo (sham), 2. Educational video for parents about how to soothe their infants, 3) video and sucrose (sugar water), 4) video and sucrose and liposomal lidocaine cream. (more…)
Anemia, Author Interviews, Hematology, Pain Research / 06.12.2016 Interview with: Kenneth I. Ataga, MD Division of Hematology/Oncology University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The available treatments for acute painful episodes (also referred to as vaso-occlusive crises), the most common complication of sickle cell disease, are limited. Findings from the Phase II SUSTAIN study showed that crizanlizumab (formerly SelG1) at 5 mg/kg reduced the median rate of sickle cell disease-related pain crises per year by 45.3% vs. placebo in patients with or without concomitant hydroxyurea therapy. In addition, clinically meaningful reductions in the frequency of painful crises were observed regardless of sickle cell disease genotype.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Pain Research / 06.11.2016 Interview with: Alexander Egeberg, MD PhD Gentofte Hospital Department of Dermatology and Allergy Hellerup Denmark What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Patients with rosacea frequently report symptoms of migraine, and this link has been discussed for many years. However, very little research has actually been performed in this area, and the prevalence varies greatly between studies. We examined the prevalence of migraine in patients with rosacea, nationwide, as well as the risk of new-onset migraine in patients with manifest rosacea. We found a markedly increased prevalence of migraine among patients with rosacea. The risk of new-onset migraine was also higher among patients with rosacea, but only among women. Perhaps most notably was the observation that risk of new-onset migraine was highest among patients older than 50 years. This was surprising, since new-onset migraine in older individuals is often considered a "red flag". (more…)
Author Interviews, Orthopedics, Pain Research, Smoking, Surgical Research / 31.10.2016 Interview with: Dr. David Kusin MD University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There is a wealth of research showing that cigarette smoking impairs healing through various mechanisms, including microvascular injury. Some evidence also suggests that tobacco use results in direct neurological injury to the peripheral and central nervous systems. Many studies have also shown that smoking reduces fusion rates and time to fusion in orthopedic surgery, including cervical surgery. Prior to our work, only a few high quality studies had been conducted to investigate prognostic factors in patients undergoing surgery for cervical myelopathy, and these identified smoking as a risk factor for a poorer outcome. The purpose of our study was to investigate this relationship further. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 87 nonsmokers and 47 smokers and correlated postoperative change in Nurick score (a measure of severity of cervical myelopathy from 0-5 with 5 being the worst) with smoking status. After controlling for age, sex, diabetes, duration of preoperative symptoms, severity of preoperative symptoms, signal change on MRI, surgical approach, number of spinal levels operated on, and alcohol use, we found that smokers had a significantly decreased improvement in Nurick score. Nonsmokers improved by 1.5 points whereas smokers only improved by 0.6 points. We also found that this was a dose response relationship, such that those with a history of greater tobacco use by pack years or packs per day had a greater decrease in improvement postoperatively. Interestingly, we found no correlation between tobacco use and preoperative severity of symptoms. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Opiods, Pain Research, Surgical Research / 18.10.2016 Interview with: Bryan Sakamoto MD, PhD Department of Anesthesia Richard L. Roudebush, Veterans Affairs Medical Center Department of Anesthesia Indiana University School of Medicine Indianapolis, Indiana What is the background for this study? Response: Liposomal bupivacaine is a novel extended-duration anesthetic that has recently become a popular option in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) for post-operative pain management. Although liposomal bupivacaine is widely used, it is unknown if the benefits justify the cost in the veteran population at our institution. The main purpose of this medication use study was to evaluate the cost verses benefit of using this agent in our veteran patient population. (more…)
Author Interviews, FASEB, Heart Disease, Imperial College, Pain Research, Pharmacology / 17.10.2016 Interview with: Dr Nicholas Kirkby BHF Intermediate Fellow | Vascular Biology National Heart & Lung Institute | Imperial College London London What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know drugs like ibuprofen, called ‘non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs’ cause an increase in the risk of heart attacks. These side effects cause very real concerns for the many millions of people who rely on them. They are also the reason why there are no new drugs in this class and why they have been withdrawn (2011) for use as a preventative treatment for colon cancer. Previous research from our group suggests that L-arginine supplements may prevent the cardiovascular side effects caused by these drugs. Our findings here suggest that a particular formulations of ibuprofen, called ibuprofen arginate, which is already available in many parts of the world, can act like an L-arginine supplement and that this could potentially protect the cardiovascular system. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Opiods, Pain Research / 26.09.2016 Interview with: Jaren Howard, PharmD, BCPS Associate Director Medical Affairs Strategic Research Purdue Pharma L.P. What is the background for this study? Response: The existing scientific literature estimating the healthcare burden of opioid misuse disorders often combines all patients within the broad category of “opioid abuse,” defined as opioid abuse, dependence, or overdose/poisoning. Collectively, these three conditions can significantly increase healthcare costs among commercially insured patients. • Real world medical coding practices present challenges to researchers aiming to separately analyze excess costs by diagnosis, though combining these diagnoses may mask some variation in excess costs. • Furthermore, little is known about the specific drivers of excess costs in terms of medical conditions driving excess costs or places of service at the diagnosis-level. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods, Pain Research / 21.09.2016 Interview with: Thomas Alfieri, PhD Director, Medical Affairs Strategic Research Purdue Pharma L.P. What is the background for this study? Response: When researchers assess the abuse potential of opioids, they follow current FDA guidance, which stipulates that questions such as “Do you like this drug?” and “How much would you like to take this drug again?” be asked of recreational drug users. We think that assessing abuse potential among recreational users provides useful information, however, we believe that the questions designed to be asked of recreational users are not appropriate for use with pain patients. These items can confuse the liking of a drug for pain relief with the liking of a drug to get high – two very different reasons that a pain patient might want to take a drug again. In theory, abuse potential could be overestimated among pain patients because of the somewhat general nature of the items used in the survey instrument. (more…)