New Pain Patch Launched in UK

Ed. Note: The following is a press release from Janssen-Cilag Ltd .

February 24, 2005

Janssen-Cilag Ltd today announced the launch of the Durogesic(R) DTrans(R) fentanyl matrix delivery system, a patch that is applied to the skin and provides reliable pain relief for people with severe chronic pain. Durogesic(R) DTrans(R) provides 3 days continuous analgesia from each single patch application.

"New Durogesic(R) DTrans(R) represents a significant advance in the treatment of severe chronic pain for many people in the UK, offering new hope for a better quality of life," commented Dr Bakul Kumar, Consultant in Anaesthetics and Pain Management at Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham.

Durogesic(R) DTrans(R) contains the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which has a 30-year worldwide history of pain relief and an established safety profile. The treatment offers effective, round-the-clock relief from pain for three days, (1) avoiding the "peaks and troughs" seen with some oral medications thus improving patient compliance. (1) With previous transdermal therapies up to 80% larger in size compared to Durogesic(R) DTrans(R), (2) it is discreet and comfortable to wear and should improve the quality of life for people with chronic pain.

The British Pain Society, in conjunction with the Royal Colleges of General Practice, Anaesthetics and Psychology, has recently issued recommendations for the use of strong opioids in the management of chronic pain to enable those people not currently receiving adequate pain relief from weaker medications to benefit from the improvements in quality of life and pain control that opioids can offer. Also, following an educational programme, a recent survey of almost 300 GPs (analysed by Synergy Healthcare Research), found that 87% of GPs agreed that strong opioids offered people with severe chronic pain the best opportunity to achieve acceptable pain control, and would prescribe them for appropriate patients. (3)

Chronic pain affects over 8.5 million people in the UK (4) or Approximately 10% of the population, yet 96% of General Practitioners (GPs) believe there is significant room for improvement in methods of treatment. (5) Durogesic(R) DTrans(R) is being launched alongside 'Translating Pain', an educational initiative supported by Pain Concern, a national organisation providing information and support for pain sufferers and their carers, and endorsed by actor and former chronic pain sufferer Nigel Planer, to encourage better communication between patients and their GP, ensuring effective treatment and pain relief.

Heather Wallace, chairman of Pain Concern commented, "Chronic pain causes misery and wrecks lives. We welcome new treatments in the fight against pain. It is also important to empower people to manage their pain as effectively as possible. Educational campaigns such as Translating Pain encourage people to go to their doctor, explain their pain and seek the best possible treatment and support."

A further survey carried out by NOP and released to mark the launch of the campaign found that amongst adults over 15 questioned across the UK, nearly half had suffered themselves, or knew a close friend or family member with chronic pain. (6) What is more, 48% admitted that they would wait until their pain was so strong it occupied their every thought or affected their mobility before they visited their GP. (6) Many patients are also unaware of the benefits that prescription medications can offer, consequently the survey found that 46% of people surveyed would either take over the counter painkillers or no painkillers at all even when suffering from chronic pain (6).

"Chronic pain is currently common although under treated in primary care," remarked Dr Brian Crichton, practicing GP and GP lecturer in therapeutics at the University of Warwick. "It has a substantial impact on patients physically, psychologically and socially, however, a great opportunity exists to help those suffering with chronic pain."

Durogesic(R) DTrans(R) provides consistent pain relief for patients with lower back pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, neuropathic pain, cancer- and non-cancer-associated pain.

"This new breakthrough in patch technology must be seen as a benefit in the management of pain, especially if it improves the major problem of patients not taking their medication," concluded Dr Martin Johnson, a GP with special interest in pain, from Ashville Medical Centre in Barnsley, West Yorkshire.