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Increased Demand for Interventional Pain Therapies

An increased demand for interventional pain therapies highlights the importance of non-narcotic treatments for chronic pain. The FDA looks to ASIPP for guidelines. 

NEW YORK — Chronic pain conditions now affect more than 116 million Americans – a figure that dwarfs the number of people who suffer from diabetes, coronary heart disease/stroke and cancer combined, (58.6 million). As Americans are aging and living longer than ever before, the numbers of those affected will only continue to rise. The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) has seen an increased demand for interventional pain therapies to treat these chronic conditions. Epidurals are an essential component of chronic pain treatment, particularly to curtail the use of addictive painkillers (opioids), the use of which has reached epidemic proportions in this country. Epidural injections for the spine have become a welcome mainstay of interventional pain management. According to SPINE Health Services Research, the demand for epidurals has increased by more than 120% between 2000 and 2008 and that number is expected to continue to increase. ASIPP emphasizes the need for established guidelines including when to use epidurals, who should administer them, and why they should be embraced by the entire healthcare industry. In 2012, the FDA requested that ASIPP and other pain organizations provide guidelines to address certain safety concerns which have arisen. Interventional Pain Management, while still in its infancy in contrast to other components of the healthcare industry, is an integral feature of short and long-term treatment programs including preventative and corrective care for a variety of pain-related conditions. Given the recent meningitis outbreak associated with the use of interventional pain therapies, many well-intentioned healthcare professionals are debating their continued use to treat chronic pain conditions. Situations like these concern ASIPP’s Chairman of the Board and CEO, Laxmaiah Manchikanti, M.D. who states, “The meningitis outbreak was not at all indicative of the efficacy and safety of epidural injection

treatments, it appears to have been the result of negligence on the part of the company that manufactured the batches of steroidal medication. Epidural injection therapy is still a safe and effective solution to treating chronic pain, is a significantly less invasive and less risky treatment than surgery and poses no threat of addiction as with narcotics.” Prescription drug abuse has become a national epidemic over the last 10 years, surpassing motor vehicle accidents as the number one cause of death in nearly half of U.S. states. “The cost to taxpayers to treat addiction combined with the loss of life resulting from fatal drug overdoses should compel consumers, physicians and lawmakers alike to take interventional pain therapies more seriously as a significant tool in our fight against chronic pain and a safer alternative to chronic pain medications,” states Dr. David Kloth, spokesperson for ASIPP and practicing anesthesiologist and interventional pain management physician in Connecticut.

About the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians ASIPP promotes the development and practice of safe, high-quality, cost-effective interventional pain management techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of pain and related disorders, and to ensure patient access to these interventions. For more information, visit www.asipp.org or call 270.554.9412. Ext. 215