Survey finds chronic pain sufferers unsatisfied with pain treatments

Chronic pain sufferers would spend more for treatment if they knew it would work

Stamford, CT Nov. 14, 2000 - Patients in chronic pain are so dissatisfied with the efficacy of their prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) pain control medications that 78 percent are willing to try new treatments and 43 percent would spend more on a treatment if they knew it would work, according to a national U.S. survey commissioned by Partners Against Pain, an educational program sponsored by Purdue Pharma.

The survey of more than 1,000 people revealed that two thirds (66 percent) of the surveyed pain patients said their OTC pain medication is not completely or very effective. In addition, of those that rely on prescription drugs, 52 percent said the therapies are not completely effective or very effective.

Many surveyed patients reported suffering from pain for years, with 62 percent experiencing pain for at least five years. Even for those patients who say their pain is under control, it often has taken a long time to get relief. Some 43 percent of patients suffered for a year or more before they felt their pain was under control, and for 21 percent it took five years or longer.

Pain is a serious public health problem for patients and the physicians who care for them. When inadequately treated, pain interferes with patients quality of life, stated Kathleen Foley, M.D., professor and neurologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Partners Against Pain advisor.

Patients satisfaction with their physicians closely relates to how successful the physicians are in treating them. Those not completely happy with their physician cited unsuccessful treatment (62 percent) as the main reason for dissatisfaction. Survey respondents expressed their dissatisfaction through comments such as has not helped me and not doing as much to heal me as he/she could.

Partners Against Pain commissioned the survey of more than 1,00

Contact: Shannon Walsh
Porter Novelli

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