A startup called Evidation Health is launching the Digital Signals in Chronic Pain, or DiSCover Project, a study that will examine if current technology can be better used to measure chronic pain. The study will test whether digital sensors, such as those found in an Apple Watch or Fitbit, can track chronic pain and trends.
Pain and sensitivity in the eye were increased among patients with fibromyalgia, compared with a healthy control group, researchers reported in the journal Eye. Dr. Winston Chamberlain of Oregon Health & Science University commented he was not surprised by the study results, because the condition is a "chronic pain disorder that likely stems from lower- and higher-order neuron disorders that can affect any part of the body, including the eyes."
Results from a 225-patient, 18-site trial published in the European Spine Journal found the use of Relievant Medsystems' Intracept Procedure to treat chronic low-back pain demonstrated a 44% reduction in pain at six months and a 41% pain decrease at 12 months without device-related adverse events. The minimally invasive procedure, which uses a transpedicular approach to target the basivertebral nerve with radiofrequency energy, also demonstrated a 48% decline in disability from baseline at three months.
A study in Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety found around 15% of adults using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were taking the drugs at a higher daily dose than the maximum recommended dose, raising their risk for heart attacks, internal bleeding and other serious side effects. The findings, based on 1,326 ibuprofen users who completed an online daily medication diary for a week, showed 16% used ibuprofen daily, 55% took the drug at least three days a week and 37% used at least one other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug during the week.
The White House's budget request for fiscal 2019 would increase FDA discretionary funding by $473 million, with much of the additional funding intended to advance the availability of innovative drugs and medical devices and to develop regulatory science tools for reducing opioid-drug misuse and abuse. The funding boost is "a recognition that the agency is doing its job well and making a critical public health difference," said Alliance for a Stronger FDA Executive Director Ladd Wiley.
Purdue Pharma stopped the promotion of opioids to physicians, and physicians will now have to call Purdue's medical affairs department for information about the drugs after widespread criticism of how drugmakers market addictive pain medications. The company also cut its sales force in half, with the remaining salespeople focused on nonopioid treatments.
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