Although pain patients in the U.S. continue to struggle mightily to get the prescription opioids they need, at least they -- finally -- have the American Medical Association behind them. But in Canada, patient advocacy groups are also fighting the Canadian Medical Association, something that can be seen in an open letter to the CMA from the Chronic Pain Association of Canada. Here are some of the letter's highlights, especially those involving contributions from ACSH.
In March I wrote about Phase IIa results of a novel NSAID-like drug ATB-346 (now called otenaproxesul), which is structurally and functionally similar to naproxen (Aleve). But the non-opioid drug lacks its gastrointestinal side effects, especially ulcers. Now Phase IIb results are in and it still looks good. Will it become the first member of a novel class of pain drugs? We could sure use it. A summary of the company's report to shareholders.
When I wrote about "Magic Aleve" -- a derivative of Aleve/naproxen that appears to be both G.I.-friendly and a more potent analgesic/antiinflammatory than Aleve itself -- a number of questions arose. Dr. John Wallace, CSO of Antibe, which is developing the drug called ATB-346, kindly agreed to answer them.
There hasn't been a material advance in the pharmacological treatment of pain since the 1890s, when heroin and aspirin were invented. That may change if an experimental drug being developed by a Toronto-based drug company keeps performing in advanced clinical trials. This could be huge.
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Dr. Kolodny (1) has a long history of spreading misinformation about the opioid crisis; (2) insults chronic pain patients; (3) profits handsomely from doing so; and (4) calls everyone who disagrees with him an industry shill. The good doctor's version of compassion actually comes with poor bedside manner and a hefty price tag.
The 29-member Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, led by Dr. Vanila Singh, recently released an important 100-page draft report. The Federal Register docket already shows nearly 2,000 comments, and doubtlessly the HHS email gateway has received many more. Dr. Richard Lawhern, the Director of Research of the Alliance for the Treatment of Intractable Pain, shares his thoughts.
Chronic pain is a major public health challenge. The reason is that the treatment of chronic pain has become, in part, a political issue. And that's to the detriment of 20 million high-impact chronic patients, who are disproportionately women or poor people.
For a civilized nation, we can be mighty uncivilized. If you're a pain patient and cannot get the meds you need, you know this only too well. As Christmas wishes go, how about a return to sanity and compassion where people don't have to beg for relief? We have precious little or either right now.
Up to 40 percent of Americans want alternative ways to treat pain, fearing dependence on medication and adverse effects, or inadequate pain control. So-called “alternative treatments” offered by acupuncturists and naturopaths are neither cheap nor covered by insurance. And given a recent study published by the Mayo Clinic, we simply say: Save Your Money.