Survey Attempts To Separate ‘Liking’ A Drug For Pain Relief vs Recreational Use 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. What are the main findings?

Response: We created new survey items that attempt to separate the concepts of liking and using drugs to for pain relief from liking and using drugs for reasons other than pain relief. Our modified questions were asked of 30 pain patients to ensure that the items were being interpreted as we intended. Indeed, we found that pain patients understood the concept of “feeling high,” understood questions that were intended to measure the liking of a drug for pain relief and understood questions that were intended to measure the liking of a drug for reasons other than pain relief. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: New items are needed to measure abuse potential of drugs in non-recreational users such as pain patients. We are working to develop those items. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: This is just the first step in validating these items. Additional interviews should be conducted to ensure consistency of item comprehension, followed by quantitative studies to assess the psychometric properties of the items. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: I’m looking forward to presenting this poster on behalf of my co-authors, and look forward to feedback from the PAINWeek community. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Abstract presented at 2016 Pain Week
An Evaluation of the FDA-Recommended Abuse Potential
Questions in Chronic Pain Patients Without a History of
Recreational Opioid Use” Palsgrove AC, Cole JC, Trivedi B,
Alfieri T, Mayne T

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on September 21, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD