The opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crisis in American history
Each year approximately 140,000 Americans develop addiction to opioid medications during standard pain management. A substantial number of these patients end up dead. In 2016, overdoses killed roughly 64,000 Americans–more than guns, car accidents or breast cancer. In 2015, management of opioid dependence cost the U.S. healthcare system $504 billion. DEA regulations alone are not enough to solve this public health crisis.
Opioids still represent a huge share of the pain management market
Opioid and NSAID/COX2 therapies account for 52% of the pain management market---a $62 billion global market, with $30 billion spent in the United States and growing at 4-5% CAGR. Non-opioid pain management totaled $9.9 billion in 2017 and is estimated to reach $22.6 billion by 2022 due growing awareness opioid medication risks. Demand is high and leading therapies are widely known to be ineffective and dangerous. The US is experiencing a public health emergency and urgently needs new pain treatment options.
We know opioids are dangerous, but they are also ineffective for chronic pain
Opioid therapies are commonly ineffective in chronic pain, leading to dangerous outcomes. Poor efficacy, rapid tolerance and increasing dosages combine to produce high rates of addiction. Even short-term opioid administration can exacerbate pain and lead to addiction. Rapid tolerance requires ever-increasing doses with severe, often lethal effects. Risks associated with chronic NSAID use are also quite serious. They include stroke, acute MI, kidney failure and severe GI bleeding. Potent non-addictive pain management therapies are desperately needed.
Relieving Pain in America -- from The National Academy of Science
"Chronic pain can be a disease in itself. Chronic pain has a distinct pathology, causing changes throughout the nervous system that often worsen over time. It has significant psychological and cognitive correlates and can constitute a serious, separate disease entity."