TREATMENT OF CHRONIC PAIN is still a clearly unmet medical need. There are no pain medicines which have universal efficacy and most partially effective drugs have unwanted morphine-like side effects.
Chronic pain patients frequently suffer from associated anxiety and depression which exacerbates their pain and generates a vicious cycle of low mood and increasing pain.
The estimated direct and indirect healthcare costs for chronic pain disorders in the European Member States vary between 2 and 3% of GDP across the EU. In 2016, this estimate would result in a cost of up to 440 billion Euros.
Developing an effective and safe treatment for chronic pain would both save the member states large costs and improve quality of life for their people.
If the DOR agonists are able to attenuate both pain and the associated affective disorders, assuming absence of toxicity and contraindications, they will have enormous market potential.
A new chronic pain medicine such as PN6047 would aid patients’ return to work, increase efficiency and reduce direct health service costs.
Drugs involved in U.S. OD deaths 2000–2016
Since 1999 the amount of prescription opioids sold to pharmacies, hospitals, and doctors’ offices in the USA quadrupled with no overall change in the amount of pain that Americans reported.
Deaths from prescription μ-opioids e.g. oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine have also more than quadrupled since 1999.
Jan 2018; New York sued eight Pharma companies for fuelling the opioid crisis with conventional opioid medicines.