Researchers study snail venom for neuropathic pain | Comparison of pain score cards shows differing results | Study: African-Americans more likely to get morphine for cancer pain
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July 23, 2014
News for the pain professional

Pain Research News
Researchers study snail venom for neuropathic pain
Researchers are studying whether the venom of the marine cone snail may help develop treatments for neuropathic pain. The venom contains conotoxins that give it an immobilizing effect and have been linked to pain relief. A study in the Journal of General Physiology finds the conotoxin Vc1.1 also may affect pain signaling. Pain Medicine News online (7/11)
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Comparison of pain score cards shows differing results
Researchers said wide variances on score cards on two different generic pain measurement scales show that careful consideration needs to be given when determining whether to use either the EuroQol EQ-5D or the SF-6D. MedWire News (U.K.) (7/21)
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Treatment News
Study: African-Americans more likely to get morphine for cancer pain
Cancer pain in African-American patients is more likely to be treated with morphine and less likely to be treated with oxycodone, when compared with white patients, University of Pennsylvania researchers reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The study found that African-American patients had higher pain scores and more severe side effects. Medscape (free registration)/Reuters (7/22)
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Many patients don't follow doctors' orders
More than half of patients prescribed a controlled substance are not taking the drug as directed, a Quest Diagnostics analysis of more than 422,000 patient laboratory results found. Forty-three percent appeared not to have taken the prescribed drug at all, 35% had taken an additional drug and 22% had taken a drug other than the one prescribed. The noncompliance rate was 70% among patients ages 18 to 24. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)/Pharmalot blog (7/15)
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Other News
Policy & Trends
NIH plans national monitoring system for illegal drug use
The NIH will fund a University of Maryland project to create the National Drug Early Warning System, which will monitor illegal drug activity at the local level. The NIH said the project will be used to monitor emerging drug trends, send rapid response teams to local areas when problems begin to emerge and educate the public using a multimedia approach. FierceHealthIT (7/18)
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White House urged to act on Rx drug abuse
The Alliance to Prevent the Abuse of Medicines wrote a letter urging White House Office of National Drug Control Policy acting director Michael Botticelli to advance a plan to fight the abuse of prescription drugs. "We unequivocally support the position that reducing the incidence of abuse must be done primarily through a public-health approach, rather than through incarceration," the letter reads. "A public health focus is necessary to balance the need to curb prescription drug abuse, diversion, overdose and death while simultaneously ensuring that patients have access to the appropriate treatments." The Hill (7/18)
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APS News
Award nomination deadline is Friday
This is your last opportunity to recognize your colleagues who have made an impact in the pain management field.
Each year APS recognizes excellence by presenting eight awards in the area of career achievement, pain research, education and public service, advocacy in children pain relief, outstanding service, and early career achievements. We value your input and nomination.
Recipients will be recognized during a reception at the 2015 APS Annual Scientific Meeting in Palm Springs. The deadline to submit a nomination is Friday, July 25. Learn more.
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What you need to know about methadone safety
APS's Methadone Safety Guideline provides recommendations for use of methadone treatment for individuals of chronic pain at all age levels. "More than 3,700 scientific abstracts were systematically reviewed by a panel to assist in developing the clinical recommendations," mentions lead author and APS Clinical Practice Guideline program chair, Roger Chou, MD. Key recommendations include patient assessment, education and counseling, baseline electrocardiograms, alternative medications, low beginning dose, and urine drug testing. Along with Dr. Chou, the guideline was developed by a multidisciplinary expert panel in collaboration with the Heart Rhythm Society. The methadone guideline is the eighth evidence-based, pain management clinical practice guideline published by APS. The guideline can be accessed by visiting The Journal of Pain website. Learn more.
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Editor's Note
The young do not know enough to be prudent and therefore they attempt the impossible -- and achieve it, generation after generation."
-- Pearl S. Buck,
American writer
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