ROME, Ga., March 24, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- DermaTran Health Solutions, a group of nationwide compounding pharmacies that specialize in the compounding of topical non-opioid pain creams, today announced that the findings from a study of senior citizens suffering from chronic pain will be presented at next month's annual meeting of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy in Tampa.
The presentation, or "poster," will cover how topical pain creams have been proven to reduce pain in older Americans, 65 and up, while improving their quality of life and reducing dependency on oral pain medications, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone.
It will be presented by Tino Unlap, Ph.D., principal investigator for Patient Outcomes Analytics (POA). Unlap reports that in a study of 925 chronic pain suffers, 65 and older, almost three of every four respondents (74%) who used a topical prescription cream to reduce their pain reported an average 24-hour reduction in their pain level of 60%, with more than half (61%) reporting a decrease in their pain of greater than 50%.
At the same time, Unlap found that 40% of the patients surveyed reported a reduction in the amount of oral pain medication they needed as a result of using the topically applied cream.
At a time of growing awareness of what Johns Hopkins University researchers recently called "an epidemic of prescription opioid addiction and abuse in the United States, recent data from other surveys reveals while the number of total prescriptions written for opioid-based oral medicines has dropped slightly, doctors are increasingly writing for higher dosages. A 2012 study from the Centers for Disease Control found that the average size of an oxycodone prescription — the entire amount in the bottle — increased from the equivalent of 923 milligrams of morphine in 2000 to 1,566 milligrams of morphine in 2010.
In addition, the potential for accidental drug abuse is pronounced among senior citizens. A study published last month in the British Medical Journal found more than one-third of the 1.2 million Medicare beneficiaries surveyed who received an opioid prescription also got prescriptions from two doctors; more than 14% from three doctors; and almost 12% from four or more. "Concurrent opioid prescribing by multiple providers is common in Medicare patients and is associated with higher rates of hospital admission related to opioid use," the survey concludes.
The costs associated with opioid abuse are staggering; the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported that cost of the nonmedical use of prescription opioids totaled more than $53 billion in 2006 alone, most of it attributed to lost productivity. NIH noted that five drugs (OxyContin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, propoxyphene, and methadone) accounted for two-thirds of the total economic burden.
Moreover, with an estimated 100 million Americans suffering from chronic pain, the Institutes Of Medicine (IOM) reports in its seminal study, "Relieving Pain in America," the total annual national economic cost associated with chronic pain is estimated to be $560-635 billion. This is ten times more the costs usually reported that involve opioid-related abuse, addiction, and accidental death, and is the result of inadequately managing chronic pain syndromes in what the IOM calls the "conundrum of opioids."
"The overwhelming societal costs of chronic pain must be addressed, as almost one-third of our society has a chronic pain syndrome and close to half of their cases are being inadequately managed," said Rob Gussenhoven, PharmD, DermaTran's Chief Science Officer. "The opioid conundrum described in the IOM report reflects the realization that using opiates for chronic pain seldom results in improved quality of life or recovery. This is the result of other opiate properties that can actually magnify pain, disrupt hormones, and contribute to other medical conditions. POA's study provides a clear indication that using topical, non-opioid anti-pain creams can alleviate patients' pain, as well as lead directly to a reduction in the use of opiate medications. This is especially important, since it lowers the long-term costs of healthcare, specifically at a time when this is of paramount importance."
Source: DermaTran Health Solutions