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Pain News Network 06/21/2018

A Third of Pain Patients Have Stopped Using Rx Opioids

Quell Wearable Pain Relief

Over a third of pain patients (34%) have stopped taking opioid medications because their doctor is no longer willing to prescribe them, according to a large new survey of American adults living with chronic pain.

Eight out of ten patients (84%) say there is an unfair stigma associated with chronic pain, and half said they have lied about or hidden their use of opioid painkillers from others.

“The rise of the opioid epidemic has had a significant impact on those living with chronic pain, and oftentimes the voice of this population has gotten lost. We wanted to shine some light on the experiences of chronic pain sufferers with this research,” said Shai Gozani, PhD, president and CEO of NeuroMetrix, which commissioned the survey.

NeuroMetrix is the creator of Quell, a wearable medical device that uses neurostimulation to relieve chronic pain. The company hired the market research firm of Vanson Bourne to interview 1,500 Americans aged 25 and older, who were suffering from chronic pain for at least three months. An equal number of men and women participated.

The interviews were conducted online in early 2018 — two years after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines that discourage the prescribing of opioids for chronic pain. Although voluntary and only intended for primary care physicians, the guidelines have been widely adopted by insurers, regulators and providers throughout the U.S. healthcare system.

The survey found that most pain patients are cautious about their use of opioids. Sixty-one percent are worried about addiction, a little over half (51%) said they only take opioids when necessary, and 42% don’t like their side effects.


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